We finally got to see the Springboks win a test at Principality Stadium, but before we talk about this evening’s shenanigans, let’s back up to yesterday first.

Even though I technically took the day off from work, it didn’t stop me from joining a quick business call in the morning. We also had two of our friends sleeping over, so whilst I was on my call, Elaine sorted out breakfast and our friends packed the car for our weekend trip to Wales. At around 12:00, we were on the road, cruising west on the M4 and at 15:30, we crossed the river Severn into Wales. Immediately after crossing the Severn Bridge, we turned north and just a few miles later, we were back in England where our Airbnb was waiting for us. Looking on the map, our airbnb was so close to the border that none of us were really sure whether we were in England or Wales (we think it’s still England). Either way, we arrived in a small remote village in the countryside and found a stunning old barn on a horse farm that they converted into accommodation. It was the perfect spot to stop for the night where we enjoyed a lovely dinner, good company, good wine and some card games in front of the fireplace.

Then this morning, after opening the curtains, we found the horses around our house patiently waiting for a snack. Unfortunately, we didn’t have anything to feed them so the special moment we shared didn’t last very long (haha) – bad humans! After breakfast we were back on the road, heading south west to the Welsh capital for the main event.

We arrived in Cardiff shortly after 14:00, checked in to our hotel and met up with the rest of our group. After dressing up in our Springbok onesies (yip, the same ones we wore at the RWC semi-finals in Japan), we strolled down to the stadium. The atmosphere in Cardiff is always great on game day as the high street is closed and filled with stalls selling food, drinks, supporter gear and everything in between. It’s where the Welsh and visiting team’s supporters enjoy some pre and post match banter whilst having a great time out in the cold. Thanks to our onesies, we were warm enough this year, unlike 2018 when we almost froze to death.

Before the game, just like they did in Japan, we were asked multiple times by other fans and the press for photo opportunities, and to be honest, Elaine and I both love it as this is always a great way to connect with rugby fans from around the world, regardless of who they support on the day!

At 16:30, we were heading in to the stadium as getting to your seat these days take a bit of extra time with Covid passes being checked before you even get to the ticket and security queues. After 80 mins of not-so-exciting-rugby, the final whistle blew and the Springboks came out on top, winning the Welsh 23-18. It was our third time supporting the Boks at Principality Stadium and this was the first time we got the win! Well done boys!

After the game, we strolled back to our hotel where our group of 15 enjoyed dinner and beers together. Tomorrow morning, we’ll all go our separate ways again after breakfast but these weekends are always so much fun as we get to watch some rugby, catch up with friends, enjoy a bit of travel, drink local beer and simply forget about life’s day-to-day stuff.

Maybe for next year’s Autumn Internationals we should visit France, Scotland or Ireland. Maybe do them all? Anything can happen, exciting right?

Goodnight from Cardiff,

Andre