Just a few days before the game my sister, Mandy, announced that she had managed to get a couple of tickets too and was going with her son Joseph. They came up for the day and stayed with us overnight.
Originally when we got the tickets we thought that the final game against Australia would be one that we would have to win to get out of the group but with England losing twice both sides were through and so the match was something of a celebration too. The result still mattered as the winners would be facing Scotland next rather than South Africa.
My sister got here at lunchtime and we went to the Bistro on Ham Parade for some serious stocking up on food before the beer onslaught.
The beer started at the White Cross on the riverside at Richmond, one of my favourite pubs. It was already packed and while there were plenty of yellow shirts as well as red ones it was the Welsh who won the singing contest and I joined in a little with Bread of Heaven, Delilah and Sloop John B (!?!). Next stop was the Eel Pie near to the river in Twickenham and finally The Albany next to the railway at Twickenham. This had the advantage of a large car park and we all stood out there to drink.
Howard and I were in Block L21 Row 37 Seats 61/62, and this is the excellent view that we had. The price seems to have been £175 which is as much as I have ever paid for anything, including Glyndebourne.
The weather was fine and stayed dry despite the threatening clouds at times. The beer was a limited choice so I had a Heineken followed by a Murphy's. The game was pretty good too, apart from the result.
The final score was 15 - 6 to Australia but Wales should have had a try in the second half when they were camped on the Australia line for a long period, and they missed a fairly straightforward penalty too. It would not have needed much of a change of fortune to conjure a 15 - 16 win. Let's hope we get some of that luck against South Africa.
Disappointed but not distraught we headed home via the Tide End at Teddington where we had some more beers and something to eat. The veggie burger was quite nice if not that original.
We got home around 10pm, about nine hours after we left, and I quickly decided that staying in was a better bet than trying another pub, even though I knew that people would be down the Fox and Duck.
It was a busy and atmospheric day, and a good opportunity to spend some time with some of the family in gentle preparation for our holiday together later this year. It was just a shame about the result.