Day 2 of the Ashes, the Gabba, and RLWC semi-final, Brisbane Stadium

Sport. Australia has many strengths, the weather is generally warm, if more variable than the picture postcard version suggests, the people are friendly and there’s a good energy to the place. But it may do sport best of all. I was here for the Ashes anyway, then happened to check the website for the Rugby league world cup to see what was going on, only to find the first semi-final would be on in Brisbane while I was there. The final is here, too, but not till next week. And England are playing in Auckland, so I couldn’t so easily see that one. Those minor what-ifs aside, I figured why not go to the semi-final as well as day 2 of the cricket.

So I did. It’s now day 3 of the test match, and we’re no clearer as to who is winning, though Australia have their noses in front. The rugby was a clear win for Australia, as expected, and with the fervent Fiji supporting sections unable to change the tide, much as occasional bursts of creativity from Fiji were yelled at. A fair few English accents in those yells, too.

View of the pitch from the Gabba. Play in action, looking very far away.
The view on day 2, section 57, row KK.

Both the Gabba and the Brisbane stadium are great. Easy to get to (I think – actually I walked to the Gabba and then from there to the other), friendly police keeping traffic and people separate, friendly security checking for aerosols, alcohol and those oh-so-dangerous unsealed water bottles, and friendly stewards welcoming you in. Each stadium is modern, easy to navigate and welcoming in any case, but so much friendly help doesn’t half make a difference.

Lights of many colours on the riverfront, plus the skyscrapers behind are lit up
Brisbane lights up at night. I actually walked to the stadium in the daylight, but it’s prettier at night.
Suncorp/Brisbane Stadium seen from outside
The Suncorp/Brisbane stadium. See? Daylight.
Rugby League WC action, in a less-than full stadium
Not a sellout – 22,000 or so, in a 50+ stadium. Might have been fuller for NZ. Perhaps less fun, though.
View of a fuller section of the ground
uller in the cheaper seats (mine at this level was 40 AUD). As someone behind me said, they should have sold tickets cheaply and filled the place.
Public pools on the Southbank
A series of pools to bathe in on Brisbane’s Southbank. Fabulous.
Brisbane by night, with red and green stripes on the water
Brisbane by night (after Google photos has played with the colours).

A great sporting day. My favourite memory was the Fiji team’s pre-match song, which was beautiful and has me dreaming of Pacific Islands.

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