Sunday, October 9, 2011
obligatory NZ Rugby World Cup post
The Rugby World Cup here in NZ has been going on a few weeks now. The pool games are finished and the quater finals started this weekend. We went to the match last night between France and England. We took a 15 minute train ride to Morningside station and walked 5 minutes to the park. Above is the entrance we went in.
The view we had was very good way up high in the nose bleed section. It was a great atmosphere and our section was full to capacity with many fans sporting face paint, wigs, French hats, English flag capes or team colored shirts or jackets. We had a good hour to kill before the game started so we walked down many stairs (maybe 50 or so?) back to ground level to get french fries (chips) and diet cokes and hiked back up to our seats at the top of the stadium. Stair master done for today? Check.
At one point, looked like a small rain cloud was heading our way and we spotted some rainbows, but we were spared. Weather was cool and clear for the game.
Above is when anthems were just about to be sung to start the game off. A gentleman from Kent, south England, wore a South African jacket on, a purple and red Scottish kilt and a "anyone but England" t-shirt. He and his wife had rented a camper van and were traveling NZ for their first visit and had gone to a few rugby games thus far. They both sported red, blue and white stripes face paint - to support France. An English girl and her French boyfriend sat near us and took turns clapping for sides. Mr. from-England-but-supporting-France told us the French supporters were chanting "Allez le Blue" meaning "Go the Blue" so we chanted along when appropriate.
The English supporters near us liked to sing "swing loooooow, sweet chariot, comin' for to take us hooooome". Every 5 minutes or so, some random English bloke would stand up, face the crowd and start everyone off with "swing LOOOOOOOW, sweet ..." and the crowd would join in for a few words then stop. Same thing again later but usually started by another random, slightly inebriated Englishman.
The crowd managed to do 'the wave' a couple times all the way around the park when the game was taking a slight boring tack for a few minutes.
England looked bit slow moving during most of the game. Big strong blokes who couldn't seem to run very fast nor get too many passes off to keep the ball moving forward. They dropped the ball at some crucial times stopping their momentum. France, on the other hand, played like they were on fire. They ran faster, passed faster and the game was more exciting when they had the ball which appeared to be most of the game. Scoreless for a good 10 minutes or so, France got a penalty so they kicked to start off with 3 points on the board to England's 0. Then again, France 6, England 0. At this point individuals near us yelled "get it together England..." or "c'mon Paddy" (hey, wrong team??) and we even heard a kiwi yell "smash 'em bro!"... Everyone was hoping England would rise up to the French challenge.
But alas, no, England rallied a bit in the second half but final score was 19-12 with France the winner.
More match details from last night at Stuff.co.nz.
We left with a few minutes left to play, climbed down a bizillon stairs, walked the 5 minutes back to the train which left a few minutes after we boarded. For an 8:30am game, we got home about 10:45pm after thoroughly enjoying the excitement and crowd at the Rugby World Cup. Good job boys and congratulations to France, oui oui!