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Paul Francis Mc Cann

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A Taste Of The Rugby World Cup
By Paul Francis Mc Cann   

Last edited: Thursday, October 09, 2003
Posted: Thursday, October 09, 2003

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The Celebration Of Rugby Union As An
International Event Is Happening

A Taste Of Union
By Paul McCann

It may never take over as the number one game of football on the world stage but all over the globe rugby union is growing in popularity .
Some say the difference between Rugby Union and Rugby League is the passion
Behind academia and adherence to strict rules .
The rule book is as big as the Bible. There are pages
dedicated to the shape and weight of the rugby ball .
In fact there are so many rules in the game of rugby union it’s a wonder the ball is ever kicked off .
If you just forget the rules the idea is get the ball from one end of the field to the other and cross over the line .
The only obstacle is the other team who may want to take the ball from you .
The game has a place for all shapes and size players . Big heavy people
Are good up front and smaller framed people can become hookers .

Many aspects of the game called Rugby Union have been raised in recent weeks with the advent of the opening of the World Cup at Homebush in Sydney Australia .

It was in 1997 when the first bid document was presented and now six years down the track Australia will host the World Cup . There are many expectations and worries
But good planning and preparation have provided solutions and sponsors have come on board to boost the salaries and bonus payments .
In a country where Soccer is the number one sport England have already spent two million pounds in salaries . The performance of England in the recent six nations competition have sent them out as favourites to win the World Cup in Australia .
Ireland have recently had a number of excellent performances that will see them a long way through the competition .
The game of Rugby Union has generated a lot of excitement in Australia and New Zealand for a long time and rivalry between these two giants of the game is a long
Saga of will the real champions please stand up . The current holders of thew World Cup is Australia and now in 2003 there are International rugby union from all over the world are arriving to claim that trophy as their own .

Many teams have been steadily arriving since the beginning of October at Airports all over Australia . They were greeted at baggage pick up points by small male choirs dressed up in the Wallabys national colours.
This small group of Wallaby wannby singers began to chant aloud with gusto their rendition of Waltzing Matilda . The challenge was on for other national anthems from different countries in the world to be sung .
The aching point among many Australians is that Waltzing Maltilda has never been
Accepted on the world stage as having the Australian national identity attached to it .

When the All Blacks arrived in Melbourne an International incident was narrowly avoided when the same group of Wannbys stood before the New Zealand National Team . A ritual dance had begun as a formidable selection of the All Black Team stood before the small male choir who were silenced by the Kiwi athletes .
Since that incident there has been no more singing heard .
Sydney harbour put on a firework display for the occasion on Wednesday evening .

The opening ceremony will be broadcast tonight live to an audience of 2 billion people . Now watching Rugby can be hungry and thirsty work but all over Sydney restaurants have adapted their menus to cater for the taste of every culture attending . I had a look at some of the set menus and here are what you can find around Sydney
as a scrum of tourists are about to set themselves down to tables around Sydney

To quench the thirsts of English, French, Italian, Japanese, Irish and Australian sports fans in a neighbourhood called Sydney where a union of good food is as multicultural as the tournament.
The Rocks in Sydney is a favourite place for rugby fans to eat and drink, with restaurateurs there at The Rocks warming-up for their most rugged work-out since that other significant event staged by the code, the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.

It is the ideal opportunity for locals and visitors to join the spirit of Rugby World Cup 2003 and support competing countries by tasting their cuisine.

So here then is the line-up for The Rocks Rugby menu:

Australia (no wallabies, but kangaroo is on the menu)

Lillipilli in The Rocks. For ‘Bush tucker’ flavours of lemon myrtle and wattleseed and Outback tastes of crocodile and billabong yabbies.

Rockpool. Sydney’s premier restaurant showcasing Australia’s premier produce – Pacific oysters, chooks from Kangaroo Island, Tasmanian scallops.

Doyles at The Quay. Choice Oz seafood (Balmain bugs, Tasmanian salmon, barramundi) with the quintessential Sydney view.

The Australian Hotel. Where else in Sydney can you eat the national coat-of-arms (kangaroo and emu) on a delicious gourmet pizza?

Phillip’s Foote. Captain Arthur Phillip, the colony’s first Governor, would be proud of this Australian tradition, DIY BBQ meats in the outdoor courtyard.

Fortune of War Hotel. Where diggers drank farewell beers before boarding ships to Gallipoli. If Australian mateship could be bottled, it’s here you’d pour it into a schooner and drink it.

France (croissants to cordon bleu cookery)

La Renaissance Café Patisserie. For delicious pastries, beef burgundy pies, a café au lait and all things Gallic. Ooh-la-la.

Quay Restaurant. Braised shoulder of lamb, pressed duck, terrine of muscatel raison ice-cream, coffee and petit fours – Sydney’s finest modern French fare.

Ireland (a pint o’ Guinness, of course)

Mercantile Hotel. For a hearty steak’n’Guinness pie washed down with a wee drop o’ Guinness or Kilkenny – or a Bulmers cider (from Tipperary).

Japan (sushi and sashimi and tempura)

Nakashima. A bento box-sized Japanese restaurant that’s wasabi-hot with locals.

Shiki Japanese Restaurant. Menu ranges from traditional favourites to innovative delicacies.

Yukis at the Quay. Sushi master chef and exquisite sashimi and a spectacular setting. For lovers of fine Japanese views with finer Australian views.

Unkai Japanese Restaurant. On the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel with spectacular views of the city and harbour and exquisite Japanese food.

Italy (pizza and pasta, to make you run faster)

La Mela Pizzeria. Basil, tomato, bocconcini – they’re the colours of Italy and just a few of the authentic tastes of an authentic trattoria.

bel mondo. The flavours of north Italian cuisine with the fresh produce of Australia. The antibar is ideal for half-time rugby snacks.

Italian Village. Harbour views, with a tribute to the early Italian community of Sydney with three levels of Italian artifacts.

Amo Roma Ristorante. Italian cuisine, fresh produce, with an emphasis on quality and the flavours of Italy.

Canada (pancakes and ice-cream and maple syrup)

Pancakes on The Rocks. Is there anything more Canadian than ice-cream and maple syrup? Try it here on a buttermilk pancake stack. Delicious.

England (pies and fish’n’chips and memories of the mother country)

Observer Hotel. For a steak and kidney pie (well, it’s Cockney rhyming slang for Sydney), baked with beer and Worcestershire sauce. Say no more.

The Orient Hotel. It’s all orientated from London – the Orient is in the east, as is this 1843 Colonial Georgian hotel with Old World charm and beer battered fish and chips.

As you can see there are tastes and flavours large enough to cater for the healthy wealthy and the wise .
The other important agenda on the minds of many is security for the tourists who are here to catch the Rugby world cup .
Behind the scenes for months special ta sk forces have been set up to combat any possible threat to the Rugby World Cup .
The security issue has been a number one priority since September 11 .
The safety of this event is a genuine concern for everyone and a small army has been in training for years and although the hope is that they won’t be needed there is always no place for complacency . The current situation is one of high alert with tonights opening ceremony and of course this Sunday marking the first anniversary of the Bali Bombing .
Overall the visitors here are excited and are making themselves seen as relaxed and ready to go for the first game this evening after the opening ceremony .
Australia will play Argentina tonight in the first game of the 2003 Rugby World Cup
Meanwhile if you haven’t thought about coming to Australia for a look there
Here are a few things to chew over .
Guided tours for visitors are on offer .
According to sources the big hotels are booked out .
Sydney as it stands at this stage is in party mood .
It is October in Australia and the winter is over .
Finally here is a poem I wrote for the occasion .

In Touch
By Paul McCann
Rugby at its best puts the world to the test ,
and the memory of it all will never die .

Be it Japan versus Scotland or USA against France,
there's always a chance for a try .

We've all gone up and over with World Cup Rugby .
The game that has got us all in boots and all .

But as close as it may come with the line outs
or in the scrum the Wallabies end up with that ball .

You'll hear Kiwis that giggle ,
see the goosesteps wriggle and tackles that could break a man in two .

The Irish will be thumping
their special something
that can turn a field of green to black and blue .

Yet its not the uniqueness of one player alone,
but the spirit of a teams unity .

That overwhelms the opposition to grab the prize ,
in this passionate game called Rugby .


The End

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