One warm evening in Seoul, the England Counties Rugby Union XV took on the Korea Rugby Union President’s XV as the first match of their 2009 Asian tour. Amy and I went down to cheer them on, along with a whole host of expats and rugby-loving locals. I had rented the most expensive piece of kit I’d ever held from the good folks at slrrent.com in an effort to get reasonable sporting photographs – you can judge whether the W35,000 investment was worth it below.
We arrived just in time for the national anthems; England yelling theirs out with little regard to the slower pace of the played music and South Korea turning to salute the empty stands on the opposite side of the stadium (the place wasn’t full, and everyone had decided to sit on the same side).
Within a few minutes, England were on the scoreboard and setting the pace for a comprehensive victory. Their experience playing at a high level showed quite clearly – there is very little domestic Korean rugby – and before long all the photographers were camped out at the England end of the pitch to get the action shots. At half-time, Korea were trailing 61-0 (keep in mind that 20-40 points are usually enough to win a game), but kept fighting and scored a try to thunderous cheering later in the game. The final score was 108-10 – a great start to the England Counties tour, and a hard defeat for South Korea.