Friday, April 2, 2010

Forcing the Storm

I had been looking forward to this day for a long time – seeing the Stormers play in Perth.  The previous time I watched them play was at Newlands, when they beat the Brumbies. 

I have to add that I still haven’t experienced anything like Newlands down here.  I watched Trinations and Super14 rugby matches at Subiaco last year, and the atmosphere didn’t even get close.

The Western force have recently moved to a new venue, ME stadium, and until today hadn’t won a single game this whole season.  The Stormers, on the other hand, were positioned at Number 2 on the log, and were sure winners in this battle.  Or so I thought.

But first, the story of my tickets.

I talked to a few mates and we decided to watch the game together.  I volunteered to buy the tickets.  I logged in on Ticketmaster, selected the game, looked for prices, and contacted everyone again.  When I had the final numbers, I selected 6 tickets, and pressed the button.  I was in a hurry to get the tickets finalised, and clicked through all the pages until I finally signed off $245 on my credit card and pressed the enter button.

Then I let everyone know we had the 6 tickets, and even sent them all a copy in an email.  We were all quite excited about going to the game.

That was on the 19th of March.  On Tuesday this week, one of the mates rang me up.  His voice sounded a little more squeaky than normal, and I braced myself for the news of a death in the family, or something worse. 

And it was worse.

It turned out that I had somehow managed to buy $245 worth of tickets for the Force vs Waratahs game that was played on 20 March 2010.  I checked, and checked again, and yes, there it was – Force vs Waratahs 20 March 2010.


I can’t remember ever having felt quite as suicidal as I felt at that moment.  Ticketmaster told me that under no circumstances do they refund tickets – not even if you didn’t turn up at the stadium to use them.

Great.  Now I had to tell all my mates that it would be really nice if they could refund me for a non-existing ticket.  If not, I had just lost $245 plus handling fees.

I told this story to one of my colleagues at work on Wednesday, and he suggested that I send an email to RugbyWA.  Turns out that they are extremely nice to spectators these days, because of the poor performance of the team.  Maybe they’ll be nice enough to help out.

So, that’s what I did.  Sent off an email and hoped for the best.  I wasn’t even expecting a response, to be honest.

The response came, however.  They told me that, yes, I’ve stuffed up, but if I sent them the ticket bar codes and the order number, they may just be able to pull a few strings.

I sent off my details, and waited until 4pm on Thursday, when I went home from work.  Still no news, and the Easter weekend was approaching, so I assumed that I was going to have to watch this game on TV.

And then, when I got home and checked my email again, there was an email from them saying that they managed to get hold of cancelled tickets, and that I could collect them at Gate 3.  I couldn’t believe my luck.

We arrived at the stadium – without tickets of course.  All I had was a printout of an email from this bloke at RugbyWA, and when I handed this to the ticket lady she sent me off to another ticket lady.

I explained and she frowned, and another bloke who looked like a CIA agent was talking into a little mike and listening to someone chatting to him.  I was getting really nervous.  After being called “the Legend” because I managed to save our tickets, I seemed to still be in for some serious embarrassment.  This one bloke’s father-in-law came all the way from Cape town to see this game, and it was starting to look like I’d stuffed it up.

Then, finally, the CIA bloke handed me my tickets, and the rep from RugbyWA came down to chat me up.  Man, I was glad to have those tickets in my hands.

IMG_5963 IMG_5976 IMG_5968 IMG_5988IMG_5962  IMG_6038 IMG_6005 Skalla

Too bad the Stormers stuffed up big time.  At least the Force won their first game of the season.  It was a good game, but not much happened down here in our little corner where we were hoping for Brian Habana to execute try after try right in front of our eyes…

No tries in this corner...

The Easter bunny was also there:


The winning point was scored after the final horn had blown, with the Force successfully executing a drop kick which turned the scoreboard in their favour.

IMG_6151This bloke next to us was blaspheming terribly.  He took it really hard, and I heard several expletives coming from his general direction…

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