I went to my first rugby league game at Wembley Stadium - and Wakefield Trinity won the 1895 Cup!

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I watched my first live rugby league game on Saturday – and not only was it at Wembley Stadium, but Wakefield Trinity won in a landslide victory!

At 23-years-old, I never considered myself someone who was particularly into rugby.

I’d watched matches throughout university - with Headingley Stadium being on my doorstep it was almost inevitable. However, I’d never found myself going out of my way to buy a ticket, or watching a league game.

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However, the fan support was always something I was aware of as, unlike football, the games provided a sense of community.

I attended my first rugby league game at Wembley Stadium and here's how it went.I attended my first rugby league game at Wembley Stadium and here's how it went.
I attended my first rugby league game at Wembley Stadium and here's how it went.

As a girl who was almost blissfully unaware of how good the sport actually was, I jumped at the chance to go to Wembley alongside my collegue Adam – our great rugby league reporter – to find out what the fanfare was about.

I was kindly invited to go along to the big game with Adam on Saturday (June 8) to talk to fans about the momumental game and how it feels for them, with it being 45 years since the Trin’s last Wembley appearance.

With it seemingly being a once-in-a-lifetime offer, I couldn’t wait to go as not only would I get to visit Wembley but I would be able to watch a team so dearly loved by fans, hopefully win such a big game.

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On Saturday, after a devastating 5am alarm, I headed to Adam’s, who very kindly, drove us down from West Yorkshire to Wembley.

Thousands of fans watched their team take the victory at Wembley.Thousands of fans watched their team take the victory at Wembley.
Thousands of fans watched their team take the victory at Wembley.

Upon arriving at the stadium, we walked down Wembley Way to really soak up the atmosphere – and it was was sublime!

Thousands upon thousands of rugby fans from Wakefield Trinity to the Wigan Warriors, descended down the famous street, dressed head-to-toe in their team colours; vast grins on their faces.

Despite the mingling of opposing teams, there was no animosity among fans – with everyone parading down Wembley Way to get to the stadium.

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By the time we reached Wembley, it was around 1.30pm – meaning I had lots of time before the Wakefield game at 5.45pm and the Challenge Cup game between Wigan and Warrington at 3.07pm.

I met some amazing and lovely fans who helped make the day so wonderful!I met some amazing and lovely fans who helped make the day so wonderful!
I met some amazing and lovely fans who helped make the day so wonderful!

We went for some lunch before splitting up so that he could set up the games’ live blog and I could go and speak to some Trin fans.

Heading back down Wembley Way, I almost got lost in a sea of cherry and white, as the vast amount of Wigan Warriors fans decided to form a hoard, clearly unintentionally, as they walked down the street.

I was thankfully met with the familiar sight of blue, red and white, hidden behind a corner.

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After introducing myself to about 30 fans, I can only praise how lovely, kind and open everyone was.

The incredible team won 50-6 against the Sheffield Eagles.The incredible team won 50-6 against the Sheffield Eagles.
The incredible team won 50-6 against the Sheffield Eagles.

The Wakefield fans only expressed their pride and happiness – with many thanking the team for a great day full of memories, even before the match began.

Before long it was time to head back for the Challenge Cup match.

Ahead of the game, there was an incredible tribute to Rob Burrow, who tragically passed away on June 2 following his battle with MND.

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It was lovely and I can only express support and gratitude to the fans and those involved.

Watching the Wigan Warriors face off against the Warrington Wolves was my first taste of rugby league action, and it was thrilling.

After 80 minutes of cheers, chants and sighs, the Warriors won 18-8 over the Wolves – which clearly delighted the thousands of Warriors fans sat to my right.

Wakefield Trinity are the current 1895 Cup champions!Wakefield Trinity are the current 1895 Cup champions!
Wakefield Trinity are the current 1895 Cup champions!

The afternoon seemed to fly by, perhaps due to my excitement or due to the never-dull atmosphere.

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And, soon enough, it was 5.45pm - aka the start of the 1895 Cup final.

As the match began, I found myself chatting to Adam about the players and the history of the team, which only made me root for the Trinity boys even more, knowing how much this win would mean for them and the fans.

It was when the Sheffield Eagles scored their first try that I actually felt my stomach drop – was this what it was going to be like all game? Would I really be feeling the wins and losses this deeply?

It was when Wakefield Trinity scored their first try, thanks to Lachlan Walmsley, that I realised the answer to the question was yes.

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For the rest of the game I felt highs, thrill and tons of excitement as the Trin continued to dominate the pitch.

During the second half, I wandered over to the stand packed with Trin fans who were cheering, yet seemingly not wanting to celebrate just in case - despite the vast lead.

Fans near the back were stood, squinting through the sunlight to see the team score yet another try the other side of the pitch.

And soon enough, time was called and the Trin had officially won.

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What was actually 80 minutes had felt like hours and it had finally come to an end, with Wakefield lifting the cup.

Heading back to my seat, I revelled in the atmosphere, which was almost enchanting.

It was in that moment, I confirmed it – I think I’m a rugby league fan.

It was always going to be an excellent day, but having a team win by much a great margin, with such incredible fans at such an iconic stadium – it was phenomenal.

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So, if anyone is willing to give me a rugby 101 ahead of the next game I attend, I won’t say no, as the thrill, the fans and the pure team spirit has made me a fan.

So thank you Wakefield Trinity, all the fans I spoke to, the staff at Wembley and the Express’s very own Adam Cheshire and Dominic Brown for a wonderful day.

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