How To Host The Perfect 3am Rugby World Cup Final Party

29/10/2015 4:30 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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Three young men excited by goal scored during sports competition

It's on. Wallabies versus the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup Final.

The stage is set for the long-term rivals to go head to head in the Southern Hemisphere, where it would make sense at Twickenham in London this Saturday (or Sunday, depending on how you look at it) and fans are understandably psyched.

Luckily for Wallabies supporters, the team thinks of Twickenham as "a home away from home" -- not so luckily, those wanting to watch the game in real time with have to tune in at 3am (AEDT).

There are lots of things that make 3am an awkward time to host a good GF party. Noise complaints aside, do you try to stay up and ride the night through? Or do you set your alarm clock and get people to come over in the wee hours of the morning?

The Food

Does 3am still count as daytime? And if that's the case, are you serving up a nice hot brekky? Or do you throw caution to the wind and chow down on the traditional meat pies and icy cold beers?

"This kind of catering is all about the game, rather than the food," Paul Frost, Creative Director of Hive Catering told The Huffington Post Australia.

"Getting up that early is out of passion and commitment and love -- you're not saying, 'thank God Matt's having us around, he makes a really mean barramundi'. No one is going to be cooking a four-course meal.

"I would suggest having an early dinner and going to bed early so by the time 3am rolls around, you've worked up an appetite."

In terms of what to serve, Frost recommends preparing as much as you can the evening before, so all is required during those bleary morning hours is to cook and serve.

"Definitely the first thing that comes to mind is a pan sandwich," Frost said. "And yes -- it's exactly as it sounds -- a sandwich you make in a pan.

"You can have ham and cheese or cheese and tomato, and you can put it in the fridge the night before. Then, later, when you're ready to eat, you put a bit of butter in the pan and toast them in there.

"The smell of ham and cheese is sure to get everyone going. So that's a nice, flat, toasty buttery option."

Om nom nom.

Cheese and ham seems to be all the rage for 3am dining, with The Caterer founder and director, Sophie Barlow, recommending whipping up a croque monsieur.

"I'm thinking a good sourdough bread with shaved leg ham and Gruyère cheese," she told HuffPost Australia. "Pre-do them and then finish them off in the oven at game time.

"They are absolutely delicious at any time of day or night and good for a crowd -- everyone loves a good toasted sandwich."

For those wanting to get a bit fancier, Barlow said Southern-style chicken wings or a slow cooked pork shoulder could do the trick.

"Something like slow-cooked pork in rolls with a bit of chutney -- that would probably work," Barlow said.

If you have more of a sweet tooth or would prefer to eat after the game rather than during, Frost suggests cooking up a good ole batch of pancakes.

"You can prepare the pancake batter the night before, and after the game is finished you can slap it in the pan and cook a fresh batch for all your mates," Frost said. "That's what I would suggest if you're hungry after the game -- I'm not sure if it would work during."

New name = rugby cakes.

The Drinks

Now for the million dollar question -- to drink or not to drink?

Those choosing to opt for a non-alcoholic beverage can hit the juice or caffeine.

"If you don’t have an espresso machine, go out and get one, and put it as close to the couch as possible so you don't have to go too far," Frost said.

And what of those in the mood to party? Barlow says it's time to get out the Tabasco and crack the tomato juice.

"I revert to Bloody Mary's any time of day," Barlow said. "You can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You wouldn't feel too weird drinking one of those at three o'clock in the morning."

In Frost's opinion, if you want to get on the booze, you may as well commit 100 percent.

"I'd say hit it hard and go old fashioned," Frost said. "I'd get out the whiskey -- some really good whiskey -- and serve it on ice.

"That will start the heart and really set the occasion. Serve it in a short glass and leave it right there in front of you on the coffee table -- make it a whiskey table -- but definitely do not serve beer.

"If you're up at that hour you may as well go hard or go home."

The Music

And as for creating the ultimate party vibe? Spotify have kindly provided HuffPost Australia with a playlist designed especially for your Grand Final celebrations, including picks from some key players from both sides.

From the Wallabies, Adam Ashley-Cooper nominated "Won't Let You Down" by Hilltop Hoods (featuring Maverick Sabre), while his teammate David Pocock put forward "Down To Earth" By Flight Facilities.

Meanwhile, Dan Carter from the All Blacks suggested "Sugar Man" by Yolanda Be Cool and DCUP.

To listen to the full playlist, see below.

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