46 days and 7,093 kms later... its the RWC Final!
Trip Start Aug 07, 2011
110Trip End Jul 14, 2012
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After, recovering yesterday by vegging out we couldn't wait to get to Auckland to see the RWC final. We weren't up too late and got our bags together as we'd had our last night staying at Jon and Laura's. It was a bit alien getting the backpacks on our backs after having the luxury of leaving them in the van (and in the spare bedroom at Jon & Laura's of course) for the last 46 days.
We decided that we'd treat ourselves to a roast dinner from Mt. Mellick before we left so after loading the Jon-mobile we headed there for some grub. It was good to chill out before the drive to Auckland and to get some carbs into Jon to keep his energy up for the next 2.5 hours or so.
After what was actually a rather average roast dinner (sorry Mt
The drive was uneventful - us boys talking rubbish in the front and the girls snoozing in the back. We arrived in Henderson later than we planned at around 4ish, checked-in and then made our way straight down to the station to head into town. We had free travel because of our RWC final tickets, nice, and so headed for Auckland. We were going to do the fan trail but ended up being a bit late and so as the train was passing through Kingsland, the nearest station to Eden Park we thought it would be easier to get off there, and catch the atmosphere before the game.
We went for a couple of beers in The Dominion bar which, obviously was full of Kiwis, and the odd drunk Frenchman. On the way we did stop off to buy some cakes from some little girls who were selling cup cakes with the French and All Blacks flags on which was sweet. It was all good in the bar, the atmosphere was good and we chatted to a couple of All Blacks fans who were confident of a win. Although I had a funny feeling the French might turn up and give them a good run for their money!
Having not tasted the local New Zealand dish we decided to put that beast to bed and headed for the nearest pie shop
After satisfying that curiosity with a decent pie we headed towards the stadium. On the way we thought we'd stop off and get something to show who we we're supporting. As we'd been in their country for 7 weeks (and Jon and Laura living there) we obviously had to get something with the All Blacks on - that and the fact we didn't like the French since they beat us in the quarters and played so badly to get through to the finals. Laura and Fran ended up with a head-band each which had silver ferns as ears that lit up. Jon and I ended up with All Blacks bandanas each....Jon looked like the karate kid!
So we headed to our seats to watch the build-up. The seats were absolutely awesome, on the 22 metre line. To be honest there wasn't much before the game - I suppose the highlight being a girl singing the Rugby World Cup theme tune "The World In Union".
Just before the teams came out of the tunnel, a couple of Kiwis came and sat next to Fran who were clearly a little worse for wear, and as a result ended up pretty abusive
The atmosphere was brewing and when the teams came out everyone, particularly the Kiwis went nuts! The anthems were sung with gusto but you could tell massively who the home team was. It wasn't until The Haka that things got interesting. The French made the All Blacks wait and then stood in a V formation holding their hands, (a little strange I must say) it was their way of challenging the All Blacks. Then half way through The Haka the French started edging towards the All Blacks, which I guess is a serious challenge. At that point the crowd erupted! It was truly spine-tingling stuff!! Good on the French though, they were up for it which hopefully meant it would be a good game.
During the game the Kiwis who'd had too much to drink during the game ended up being really abusive, but you had to laugh they we just really passionate. Since the French were wearing white, the lady at one point the lady shouted "it's like watching England, don't bring us down to their level!" Haha!
Anyway, we all know the score and how tight the game was so I won't go into it. But it was a closely fought game and on the day I did think France deserved it, but overall for how they'd played throughout the tournament the right team won in the end
Once the game had finished there were the obligatory fireworks and the presentation of the Web Ellis Trophy. We decided to head down to the side of the pitch and get s good look at the trophy and the team, including a close-up of the proud captain, Richie McCaw. The celebrations were great and the players' children came onto the pitch too. It was also Graham Henry's last game in charge and so also did a lap of honor with his wife (Graham Henry for the England manager's role anyone?).
After the celebrations had died down and the players had made their way off the field we headed for the train. We were going to head into town to celebrate it with the rest of the kiwis but figured everywhere would be rammed so we didn't venture in. Once we got to the motel we just crashed and went to bed.
It was a great to see the All Blacks win the world cup as a goodbye to New Zealand, the country's been good to us, we're ready to move to some warmer weather in Fiji but we'll miss Jon and Laura and can't wait to catch up and gossip when we're all back in the UK again!
Tomorrow we catch our flight to Fiji for some sun, sea and sand and we can't wait!!! We'll probably be out of each for the period as we're island hopping on remote islands for a couple of weeks but we'll make sure we give a proper update when we're back online.
Until we come back from Fiji, catch you later world!