Published: June 23rd 2009June 21st 2009
You're Still Rubbish!
Stephen Donald miss-kicks again
Planning for today started the day we arrived in New Zealand, the tickets for the All Black's upcoming test had just gone on sale and we were lucky enough to get hold of some. We were off to join the Kiwi's in an initiation into supporting the All Black's.
After being outplayed in the first Test, which they lost 27-22 to France in Dunedin, the All Blacks needed a winning margin of at least six points in the second and final test in Wellington to retain the Dave Gallaher Trophy.
We followed a sea of black under heavy black rain clouds ready to burst at any moment, the black sea ran thick to the Westpac stadium nicknamed the Cake Tin for its resemblance to a erm...........cake tin! The stadium slowly filled with the gathering masses as the rain clouds fell upon those in the cheaper seats in the uncovered area, which included us!
Release the Cocks
First there was a spray painted one, then a brown one and finally one that was dragged out of the stadium flacking around. A ball hadn't even been kicked and the French were already playing dirty, the Cockerels were out in force.
Even in the driving rain
A master stroke by the French supporters, releasing a Red, White and Blue sprayed cockerel just as the Haka was performed, but nothing could distract the army of Black from their war dance challenge. The gauntlet had been thrown.
It was an ugly game but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the wind swirled around the Cake Tin and the rain hammered down, penalties were missed and the ball was dropped many times before a moment of lacks defending by the French let Ma'a Nonu slip by for the first score of the game, followed by yet another missed kick by Stephen Donald who was having a mare and the crowd was making sure he knew it! That is until he put over a simple penalty, then he was “a misunderstood genius!”
Halftime came and went, the score at 8-0 to the All Blacks, playing badly just not as bad as the French! Donald added a further penalty for the All Blacks before being replaced by Luke McAlister, to the pleasure of the crowd. The French made changes to their squad at halftime and made very little impact until a moment of sheer quality as Cedric
I believe I can fly!
All Black win line-out
Heymans, weaved, danced and skipped his way around five tackles and over the try line, followed by a conversion from Julien Dupuy, both teams added penalties to this low scoring game. Conditions dictated the style of this contest, for the All Blacks it was all about the result and that result was winning, no matter how ugly it looked. Both teams put up a solid wall of defence on their goal line where sideways was the only way forward!
That's Gotta Hurt!
But probably the best and hardest tackle came from a pitch official on a French fully dressed streaker, well it was cold! This poor woman made to the centre of the pitch to celebrate her achievement only to be floored by a rampaging official, hitting her at full flight with a flying shoulder rugby style tackle, lifting her clean off the floor, only to be slammed back down to earth again! Okay, it must of hurt, but it was bl**dy funny!
The game ended 14-10 in the All Blacks favour, but the Dave Gallaher Trophy was awarded to the French to the disbelief of the All Blacks, as their team officials didn't explain the aggregate scoring
for this contest as they thought it was irrelevant; hence they won the battle but lost the war.
Experiencing an All Black's game on home soil, in such a huge rugby nation was great fun, we felt lucky to get tickets and see them defeat the French! It was always going to take more than a torrential downpour to dampen the Kiwi supporters spirits.
For anyone who may have noticed the gap in the blogs between our last one and how we got to Wellington, 10/10 for spotting the deliberate mistake, they will follow shortly!
There are more photos below