On September 30th evening, I took the family down to Edinburgh, to the new Hive Stadium for the first professional sport experience. It was not any rugby match; it was a long time due experience that had been thwarted by the unexpected demise of the English monarch Elizabeth II in 2022. Finally, almost an exact year later, Spain take on Scotland in a thrilling clash of strength and skill. Despite Spain’s loss, the whole trip was a good first on my daughter’s bucket list.
Hive Stadium is a tiny newly constructed stadium on the shadow of Murrayfield, very apt for this kind of events where the attendance may be a bit in the low numbers, considering that the match coincided with the Rugby World Cup being played in France.
From the opening whistle, it was evident that Spain had come to Edinburgh with a burning desire to give their all. Their passion for the game was palpable, and their determination to make a mark on the field was apparent in every tackle, pass, and scrum. Despite the final score leaning in Scotland’s favor, Spain’s performance deserved recognition, particularly the emergence of a new star in the making, Bingbing Vergara.
One of the standout moments during the match was Spain’s remarkable ball-handling skills. Their swift passes, accurate kicks, and well-coordinated teamwork were a joy to watch. It was clear that they had diligently prepared for this contest and were committed to showcasing their rugby prowess. Though they may have lacked that final burst of energy to secure more points, their efforts were nothing short of commendable.
What made this experience truly extraordinary was sharing it with my family. For some, this was their inaugural live rugby match, and the enthusiasm in their eyes was infectious. Our collective reactions, from cheers and laughter to shared gasps of anticipation, forged a unique bond among us, one that transcended the game itself.
However, an unexpected twist during the match was the response from some nearby spectators when I unfurled the flag of the Spanish Empire. This flag, bearing the Cross of Burgundy, bears a resemblance to the English flag, even though it includes the St. Andrew’s cross from the Scottish flag. A few heads turned, and some glances were less than friendly, but to my relief, a mother nearby took the time to explain to her son the differences in the flags. During halftime, a gentleman approached me, eager to hear more about the flag’s history and the unmistakable resemblance it bears to the cross of St. George.
Our journey to Edinburgh to witness the Scotland vs. Spain rugby match exceeded our expectations in every way. It was more than just a sporting event; it was a day of family bonding and a newfound appreciation for the sport. Despite Spain’s loss, their spirited performance left an indelible mark on us. As we departed the stadium that evening, we couldn’t help but smile at the memories we had created together. It was a day of firsts, of shared excitement, and of celebrating the enduring spirit of rugby. While Spain may not have triumphed on the scoreboard, we left with a renewed love for rugby and a desire to attend more matches in the future, perhaps even within the historic confines of Murrayfield, as a family united by our shared love for the sport, our bond, and the rich tapestry of history that rugby brings with it.