Newtown Rugby League Football Club - Established 1908
A day out at Henson - Newtown Jets V Auckland Vulcans


I had the best bloody day at the football yesterday...

Jets supporter celebrates another try

No, I didn't get to CUA Stadium. Neither did I go to Toyota Stadium.

I was at Henson Park for the game between the Newtown Jets and the Auckland Vulcans.

On Thursday night, I was out with a mate in a bar on King Street when we won a lucky door prize - two passes to the Jets game on Saturday.

What the hell, we thought. What else are we going to be doing? We went not expecting much.

How wrong we were. It was fantastic.

There was no video screen or video ref. When a try was a bit iffy, the ref pointed to the spot and called it. And no one cared, just get on with the game.

There were kids kicking a footy around on the hill. No security telling them to sit down because of liability issues or because they were interfering with other patrons. And at halftime they all ran out on the field to kick the ball around with each other. Again, no security shoo-ing them away or kicking them out.

The only food was pies or sausage sandwiches. The beer was KB lager. There were no Nazis at the bar saying that you could only buy 2 drinks so you'd have to go back to your seat and come back again.

The pre-match entertainment was a well worn cassette tape playing Beach Boys music, and the ground announcer was a character - not a wanker or a robot like you get at other grounds.

Winter sunshine makes for a great day on the Hill at Henson

But the thing that got me most was the atmosphere. There would have only been 2,000 people there at the most, but everyone was into the game - which was close and of a high standard. And when the Jet's won it right on the buzzer, the crowd went pretty wild.

We went to find out how much it would cost to get in normally - because we'll be back - and discovered it's only a paltry $8 to get in, and kids under 16 are free.

This is everything people miss about going to the football. It was the best day I've had at a Rugby League game in, well, ever. And I realized why shortly into the second half - it's still 1982 at Henson Park. And I think people do miss that a little.

So do yourselves a favour, head down to Henson Park, grab a sausage sanger and a KB and watch the Jets run around from the hill. It'll be one of the best days out you have at the footy in a long, long time.

© Newtown Jets RLFC 2009