Who are you/ your role:
Olivia Kosylowicz, Operations Executive
England V Samoa, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, 5th October- 9th October
What was your favourite part of Lille?
For the longest time there had been so many other places to visit on the Eurostar that I’d never even spared a thought about visiting Lille, ignored for shinier cities like Paris. Now having experienced Lille in full swing of the Rugby World Cup, I would love to come back and visit post tournament and would recommend for anyone to do the same. I think Lille has a comforting and refreshing feeling about it. It’s a small compact city, with lovely, cobbled streets and a northern French charm. Although it is small, there is so much happening, and plenty to do.
Nearly everything is within walking distance, but the public transport is also very efficient. It has very colourful and characterful neighbourhoods, the old architecture remains a key part of the up-and-coming modern city. It’s one of those places that feels perfectly French.
What was your favourite part of the trip?
My favourite part of the trip was just the atmosphere of the crowds and the buzz around the city. I particularly enjoyed watching the Samoan team performing a spine-tingling Siva Tau before the game.
How was the Match?
I love the buzz of a match day, and for this match there seemed to be an even bigger buzz as England looked to find their strongest team moving on from the pool stages. We got off to a strong start against the classy Pacific Islanders of Samoa. However, the Samoans didn’t back off scoring two quick fire tries leaving England fans shocked as England were failing to find any sort of rhythm.
After a disappointing first half England fans were looking for a change in fortunes. After a few nervy moments and a Samoan penalty, Owen Farrell stepped up to slot a penalty which not only looked to settle the nerves but was also a historical moment as Farrel surpassed Jonny Wilkinson to become England’s all-time points scorer.
England seemed to have made a habit of keeping their fans on the edge of seats late into the game this tournament. And this game did just that! Still trailing by 11-17 going into the final 10 minutes, England’s supporters were agonising for a final moment of magic. Step forward Danny Care, using the man advantage following a Samoan yellow card, Care touched down close to the posts after a dart from the base of the scrum. A simple conversion for Farrell then left the final 5 minutes to hold on against some final tests from the Samoans to see England secure the win with a final score 18-17.
What would you recommend doing in Lille?
One spot you must pop into in Lille is the main square! Sit and have a coffee in the sunshine on the Grand Place or grab some delicious pastries from one of the many patisseries. There are also so many lovely, cobbled backstreets which are filled with lots of shops, galleries, and bars. Great for a stroll or some window shopping.
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