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Saturday night was filled with mastering the train system in Sydney (never leave directions up to a man), the Waratahs vs. Crusaders match, and wedges (apparently a traditional bar/game food–potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce). Considering I knew nothing of australian rugby, it was really entertaining. We had great seats in the Platinum section thanks to one of Brad’s co-workers. The match was in the ANZ Stadium in Homebush–past Olympic stadium–about 40 minutes by train outside of Sydney. Turns out, Australian Rugby is much like football, although dangerously different. A football or footy can only be thrown backwards or kicked forwards to teammates. Let me re-iterate the dangerously different bit. These guys wear no protective padding. I take that back, several guys were wearing what looked like foam helmets…I can only imagine how much those actually help when being tackled to the ground by 7 other fully grown men. Most were taped in various places, where the oddest to me (coming from a former ballerina where tape was only for your toes) was around their heads. After a quick google search, it was confirmed that this is to protect their ears from getting swollen in hopes of not developing cauliflower ears. Yikes. These guys are not messing around. I’ve never seen so many medics run on and off the field in a sports game. Most of the players seemed to just need a second to swallow their new injury and then they were back in the game. My favorite player was #11-Lote Tuqiri, a super fast wing player with dreads and neon green shoes. You could always spot him with his shoes glowing from above and more than not, he had the ball. It was a great night.

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