Welcome back to the Hg2 rugby column. Last weekend’s 6 Nations cup brought lots of talking points. There was the debacle of the France vs Ireland game being cancelled ten minutes before kick-off – the frozen pitch ruled a danger to player safety. Wales showed their credentials as possible favourites for the tournament, beating Scotland 27-13. And, despite a poor overall performance, England managed a second half comeback, winning 19 -15 – sparked by a Charlie Hodgson charge down try.
That weekend led to lots of banter with my mix of European expat friends over in Dubai. Which inevitably led to reminiscing about the Dubai Sevens back in 2004 where, for the first time in ages, it rained on the final day. Unperturbed, I made my way to the Dubai Mall to find suitable attire. After an hour of failing to find a waterproof top (and being sidetracked by the ice rink and theme park – in a mall!) and constantly being told they didn’t stock them because “it doesn’t rain in Dubai”, I found the perfect outfit. While most people chose to wear bin liners, I rocked up resplendent in the perfect outfit for the occasion – a knee length wetsuit, complete with arm-bands and swim hat.
Moving swiftly on, with thoughts turning to next weekend’s games. England host Wales, Scotland host France and Ireland host Italy. If you’re not fortunate enough to be watching any of the matches live, keeping up the Dubai theme, get down to Barasti Beach bar, part of Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa. I love this venue. They have two screens in the internal bar, one by the pool bar, a huge screen by the pool and two further bars on the beach.
Baku – Adam’s Sports Bar
While we wouldn’t usually recommend you go to an ex-pat boozer Adam’s Sports is the exception with a crowd of larger-than-life Brits and sports shown on larger-than-life screen.
Beijing – All-Star Sports
This mega modern sporting metropolis has a grand total of 65 flatscreen TVs attached to it, literally catapulting this field of the bar scene right out into space.
Toronto – The Real Sports Bar
Much like locating the candy store right next to the kid, a sports bar in Maple Leaf Square – the epicentre of Toronto’s sports district – was never gonna have any difficulty with passing trade.
Bogota – Serafina
Serafina is a sophisticated sports bar known primarily for its steaks and martinis – a heady combination, if ever there was one.