My Newlands Adventure

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Stormers, Super Rugby on 5 Mar 2012 at 18:30
Tagged with : , , ,

My sister and I met up at the airport fully intending to use the, about 5 hours we would have before the game, to take in some of the sights that we have not taken in since childhood and what now feels like a very long time ago. We got our tiny little rental car and checked into our guest house with a very nice view, but not the view we expected, not that we really cared, but still. We were in and out and now trying to find a place to feed ourselves using our GPS, it was frustrating. Twice it directed us to someone’s doorstep and my sister almost got out and rang the bell just to proof to the GPS that it could not be right. She didn’t. Luckily all this driving up and down meant that we drove by a Postnet and I realised that neither my sister nor I had picked up our tickets for the game. She had bought the tickets online and thought I had picked it up and I knew she thought I was going to pick it up, but never did. I’m a very reliable person. We did not fight or argue about this, because we’re not a married couple and although we’re related we also really like each other. It was only by very good fortune that we ended up getting the tickets, as neither of us had the reference number with us and for some reason it was never sent to any of our emails, but my sister remembered that she scribbled it on a piece of paper at her office and for some reason my cousin was there and found the piece of paper with the number.

We got our tickets and our food and decided to go back to our guest house with the view but not the view we expected and relax a little while we enjoyed our meal. By the time we were done eating, which actually means catching up and just hanging out, it was too late to do anything worth the effort. Plus we didn’t have anything specifically planned and didn’t trust the GPS to take us anywhere anymore and also we were just lazy and really only came down for the game anyway.

Newlands stood before us proudly. With only 20 minutes to go there was a rustling and bustling going on around us. We were looking at the place all starry eyed. All excited, like a kid at the zoo or amusement park. It’s great doing things like this. Just packing up and going on an adventure. Everyone was going about their business while we stood on a triangular sidewalk taking pictures like we were at the Eiffel tower or the Coliseum. We took every picture short of the one you see Chinese tourists always take where they jump and attempt to take a picture with them suspended in mid air in front of a famous tourist attraction. It was our first time. What can I say?

Newlands is not as immense or intimidating as other Stadiums that I have been to. It almost felt like we were at a fair or a flea market of some sort. We walked around the building, the stadium, but it felt like a building and discussed whether we liked or disliked the fact that you didn’t have to show your ticket until you entered at your specific gate. My stomach fluttered and I gave my sister a smile that I know was as goofy as I have smiled in a while, because she just shook her head and chuckled. The ticket guy took about 18 minutes to scan the three tickets of the one guy in front of us with his buddies’ tickets all still attached to his and my excitement grew so that I started to shake a little, inside I’m still just a kid at the amusement park. Then we walked up the stairs, one flight and then the next, because you can’t take both at once and at most you can take two steps at a time, but I have found that this makes me even more tired than just taking them one by one. Then I took the last of them and there right in front of me was a bunch of people at least an inch taller than me standing in the entrance wondering whether it goes left foot in front of right foot, or right foot in front of left, it took them about 3 minutes to figure this out and when they eventually started moving it wasn’t as much left in front of right or right in front of left as it was a shuffle, almost penguin like. My sister was in front of them, I pushed her in the back hoping she’ll lose her balance and in turn push them to give them the motivation they needed.

And then finally, after hours of waiting, I took in the mountain and took in the field that is known as Newlands and then I took my turn to take a few pictures and block the passage to annoy the people behind me who wanted to get in.

The game was great, not many tries, but physical and tight. Well, you saw it, you have TV’s. We sat in row o, in what felt like a cave like area of the stand that caused a cave like echo every time the crowd cheered or jeered. They jeered or boo’d once when the Sharks reserves got up to stretch their legs and I thought it was good to see some stadiums still understand the friendly banter of a well timed boo. Lambie also got a loud boo from the Stormers and the counter cheer of the Sharks to show the young fly half the comfort of some support. The boo’s got louder as the game moved on and points got tighter and more important. Our corner of the stand had a good blend of Stormers and Sharks supporters and every time a kick was over opposite supporters would look in each other’s direction, their looks saying what do you think now. No one got personal or ugly. Everyone enjoyed the game.

When that last kick of Grant went over the crowd went mad and I thought to myself: “The only way the Newlands crowd sportsmanship and atmosphere would really be proved is if the the Sharks could score a try after the hooter has gone to see whether these crazy jumping fans would still be so nice when victory is snapped from their grips.” It wasn’t to be but,after the game, right away or right away after going crazy jumping on chairs and doing their victory dances, Stormers supporters turned to Sharks supporters and shook their hands, telling them to bad and better luck next time. I was disappointed with the loss, but pleased with the improvement and fight from the Sharks and enjoyed my visit to Stormers land thoroughly.

I hope to go back to the friendly “stadium” again someday. It wasn’t a great Sharks day, but it was a good rugby day.


  • We are a friendly bunch down here in CPT! I agree, it’s shitty finding your way around the narrow passages and stairs to your seat, but the atmosphere is something special.

    You should go to the beer garden across the road at the main stand next time – great vibe there and loads of banter.

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.03.12 18:38:15 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 1) : Jeered and boo-ed?? Friendly may asset! 😈

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.03.12 19:06:39 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice (Comment 2) :

    It is the most irritating thing imaginable. I hate it, it happens in all SA stadiums with Newlands arguably leading the way.

    Boo the ref sure! (Sorry KSA 🙂 ) But to boo a professional sports guy who has trained his whole life to play at this level by some self-proclaimed ‘expert’ in the stands is not just ignorance, it is quite simply embarrassing and stupid.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.03.12 20:07:38 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 3) : BIG FAT LIKE

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.03.12 20:12:46 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • The thing I love most about Newlands is the fact that you can rock up there with any team colours imaginable, get chirped a little and that is that.

    One shark supporter jostling for position at the bar, between all those stormers and no problems whatsoever.

    I don`t think you can say that from all the other stadiums in SA.

    Then you have the view, the history and ambiance . . .
    Also you feel a lot safer walking back to your car than in jhb for instance. Not so sure about Kingspark, only been there once and can`t remember much about it.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.03.12 20:18:13 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 5) : people have this thing about Loftus…never experienced any trouble myself..only things i have seen was between supporters from the same team (home team)… always great atmosphere…best to me is KP (although i have to admit never been to Newlands)

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.03.12 20:24:17 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • You guys make me feel like a rookie. Only ever been to Loftus, and only 3 times! Two of them, the Sharks won, the other I was WAY too young to remember

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.03.12 21:24:00 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Best stadium kings park..worst ellis park..everyting bout the stadium is kak..half time show..parking..loftus u know u going to get chirped but u chirp back..most of the guys are friendly n looking to give a bit of banter..its when people take it up the wrong way that the situation turns nasty..newlands I hve to admit especially with the coloured guys is the most entertaining..u can have a laugh n still scream for ur team..

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.03.12 21:39:12 by shaniboi Reply

  • It all depends what you want, if you want a chilled environment(going with the family) go to kings park, but if you want to have that gaan mal en tekere atmosphere ( going with friends) go too loftus, worst stadium I have went too (jammer om dit te se) definitely the coke tin (in ‘n slegte gebied gele net soos wanderers ten minste maak die atmosfeer daar daarvoor op)

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.03.12 22:02:23 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Yeah, just heads up, you are never going to see home fans cheering after their team has lost in stoppage time. Not in a millions years. Best you can hope for is grudging respect for the better team.

    But once the game is done and dusted, most Stormers fans are congenial, if not entirely friendly.

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.03.12 23:48:41 by Leviathan Reply

  • @Ice (Comment 2) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 06.03.12 08:27:46 by chaz Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 3) : The booing this last Saturday was the worst Ive heard, it seems to be getting worse despite the efforts of management, radio stations etc to educate the fans on sport etiquette.

  • Comment 12, posted at 06.03.12 08:53:34 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle

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