Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

National Disaster.
October 8, 2007, 5:45 am
Filed under: Happenstance | Tags: , , , ,

I had been planning on writing about the next race I am training for, but something happened here on Sunday (NZ) morning so stunning that I can only think of one comparison.

Remember Nagano in 1998 when they didn’t put Wayne Gretzky into the shootout against the Czech Republic and then they served up a giant turkey against Finland in the bronze medal game?  A similar result awaited the All Blacks (New Zealand’s national rugby team) at the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal matchup in Cardiff.

Back in 1999, an upstart French team upset the heavily favoured (to win the tournament) All Blacks which shocked the nation.  The players all left early, leaving the coach to fly back alone to face the scrutiny/mutiny.  It was pretty ugly.

I woke up at 6:30 AM and strolled down to the Viaduct area of the city (all four storey office and condo blocks, all built between 1998 and 2002) where I found a bar full of people.  New Zealand fans had already taken the best seats, with French fans relegated to next to the smoking section.  People were singing and shouting at the television – far more enthusiastic than our Salt Lake City 2002 finals.

New Zealand took the lead early and held onto a 13-3 advantage at the halftime.  But early into the second half, one of the better players was sent off for a foul, leaving the All Blacks a man short for an extended period of time.  France managed to tries (like a touchdown in football) and converted both 2-point kicks, while New Zealand failed to convert on their one.  Final score: France 20, New Zealand 18.

And the faces at the bar…every French fan was going cuckoo bananas while there was silence from the Kiwis.  One particularly hot girl turned to her hot female friend’s shoulder and started crying.  She leant on her the whole way out of the bar.  That was very hot.  The bar emptied out pretty fast and I hurried on home to process the three pints I drank on a Sunday morning (religion).

Here is an artcle on the finish, with the page above carrying full World Cup coverage.

As a follow up, I went out for dinner that evening at a pub-style hotel just off the main street here in Central.  The owner came out to chat; it had been a very slow day for business, he reported.  There was a Canadian (Bay and Dundas; legitimate Downtown Toronto) who reported that three French fans singing “La Marseilleise” were thrown into the harbour by clearly irritated New Zealand fans.  And yes, even the buildings looked sad.


2 Comments so far
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Did you manage to console the heartbroken women ????

Comment by Blacksheep

they guy who got thrown in the sin bin is likely to get lynched if he dares show his face…wonder if all blacks fans are anything like the sask ones were after sask lost the grey cup a couple of year ago (entrails on doorsteps, anyone??)…

i heard the all blacks were going to be suited up in some silver at an upcoming game…would they dare to stray from the ‘all black’ unis??

Comment by b

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