Well where to start…….This evening was the start of watching rugby in my new town….The Team Glasgow Warriors and they were playing Newcastle Falcons in a pre-season friendly.  I was looking forward to the game and arrived at Firhill in plenty of time.  Firhill in situated in Partick and area to the west of the city centre in Glasgow and the ground is owned by Partick Thistle F.C. Three sides are seated and one end is open and just a mound of mud.  I was interested to see the Falcons as they signed the Blues scrum half in the summer and I wanted to see how he was getting along. I knew the Glasgow squad would be depleted as the Scotland players were with the national squad getting ready for the world cup.

The problems started as soon as I arrived at the ground and I was searched on the way in, never been searched going into a rugby ground before not even Twickenham. I was then warned that I would not be allowed to use my camera. This has never happened before even at Twickenham I have used my camera and never been asked not to. Then I found somewhere to sit not used to sitting at a rugby ground apart from Twickenham I think this was a first for me…..oh I may have sat at Franklins Gardens once.  The ground was only open on one side and patrolled by security guards who insisted on walking around the ground all the time getting in the way.

The game got underway I was sat near the front but still miles from the pitch. Still the security guards walked around the stand getting in the way blocking views etc. At Twickenham people are discouraged from moving around while the game is in play…..Seems not here and it does spoil the game with your view being interrupted by the guards. I got the camera out and sure enough I was told off and told to put it away. Then a professional photographer was in trouble for not having the right pass for being pitch side. I resorted to taking off my hoodie and hiding the camera in the sleeve and using it that way……Pleased to say it worked to a certain degree and the photos are now on facebook.

I am used to watching rugby and being able to talk to the touch judge and ask him to explain decisions that the ref makes, they are always happy to do this and it’s all part of the banter and the game. But not here the touch judge was just too far away.

What really shocked me was that the players are kept away from the fans they are on the other side of the pitch. I have never seen this before in rugby and it was a real eye opener.  Once the final whistle went the players were off like a shot and they didn’t even turn to acknowledge the crowd and come over and see the supporters. Guys these people pay your wages and if it wasn’t for them you would have a boring mundane office job like the rest of us. All games I have been too allow children on to the pitch at the final whistle to speak with the players and get autographs. But not here not today.

One lesson learnt today, this was only the second time that I have watched rugby at a football stadium, first off a few seasons again and it was the semi-final if the English Premiership between Tigers and Bath and was played in Leicester at the Walkers Stadium.  The similarities were the same as this evening. So I am thinking that Rugby played at Football Stadiums is just a no go. Sad but true in my experience.

That’s it I very much doubt I will visit Firhill again or the Glasgow Warriors. I have learnt another lesson tonight and that is I won’t be going back to football again in a hurry. That’s why I left in the first place it was too much all this being watched being told you can do this and not do that. But the real shocker was on leaving the ground to be meet by Police outside. I have never seen that before apart from Twickenham but that is because of the number of people there. Tonight was too much. Rugby has one more chance for me so I will go in a couple of weeks’ time to watch Glasgow Hawkes and see how I get on there, I am hoping it will be more of what I am used to and I will get the bug back because right now as I write this I don’t love rugby anymore.

Oh and one last thing……..there was no beer…….well I guess next it will be no food at Tesco……no beer at Rugby……..SHOCKING……….

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