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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sept 10th - Everybody wants to rule the world.

Match day. I got up early (jet lag) so went for a run to liven me up, and saw a beautiful sunrise from Dunedin's white sand beach.

 We then walked into Dunedin, and I've got to say that it didn't have a feel of Edinburgh to me (much friendlier to the English and not as expensive). The railway station was something else - with a definate feel of what Dunedin is all about. It hosts an art gallery, celebrating the local scenery and artists, and the NZ Museum of sporting heroes (Todd, Clarke, Hadley, Hillary, as well as the inevitable rugby stars). Next to it was a farmers market. Not one that just sells things like Olives or garlic - hardly local to the UK, but home grown fruit and veg, meat all served with a passion for the produce to people who wanted to eat good food. The apples were twice the size of theNZ ones we get in the UK - they must think that we are mad wanting the 'runt of the litter' crop. I could go off on one at this point about the quality of food and the lack of iterest by the Brits, but food really is valued here. Even the 'Blue Cod and Chips' I had for tea were very very fresh. Simple food served well.

On match days, life revolves around the Octagon ( a road system, with a 'square in the middle'. Around the square were a variety of bars with the pavement culture that we don't seem to have embraced even though our weather conditions are similar. As it was the RWC, Dunedin had also put on a show. There were bands, Irish and Scottish dancers, my particular favourite was a 75 year old singing duo, dressed as a cowboy and cowgirl, doing a sterling rendition of the Gambler - the spirit of 2007's team is something we need this time.

And then the Argies arrived singing their songs. Most were very upbeat and involved them bouncing up and down. As they walked round, they accumulated more and more fans. This was also accompanied by hire cars bedecked in Argentina flags tooting their horns, driving up and down.

We went for aa walk and bumped into Simon Shaw, Lewis Moody, and Mark Cueto, so I did the groupie thing and asked for a photo.
 (Facebook Friends only).

The ground looks as though its transparent like a glass greenhouse, but its actually more like a polythene cloche - translucent. It has a sports block at one end, and is open at the corners. I sat behind the gaols - the ones where Jonny was missing all the kicks in the second half. The stand was seats on top of scaffolding and was very drafty (like at the NEC). They were metal and once the Argentinian fans started jumping, the noise encouraged everyone to start to stamp and the stand was rocking - I think you would have heard the noise on the tv. I should imagine the cacophonous noise put JOnny off a bit. The less said about the actual game the better, suffice to say that there were a lot of annoyed and frustrated fans. Our one flair player proved his worth - oh for a couple more, who'd have been at home with their cornflakes - JSD anyone?

Still a win's a win, and a better position to be in than Wales who played better and lost. The party continued long into the night, and included a foam party around the Waka penis. ( I  leave it to your imagination.)

Everybody wants to rule the world - seems quite appropriate for the first weekend of the world cup. Tears for Fears 1984.

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