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Published: October 3rd 2011
Fergburger"Rugby is great. The players don't wear helmets or padding; they just beat the living daylights out of each other and then go for a beer. I love that."
The Tropical Swine
- Joe Theismann AFL
11 hours in a tiny rental with a coughing and spluttering Englishman. People have killed for less...
We made it to Queenstown by about 11pm and was greated by a 3/4's cut Nooks! Feeling run down and knackered, we were under orders to drop our bags at Rich's gaff and get on it! And who were we to argue? So, Via seeing Miss Nicky Greenwood, we did just that, Hello World bar, it's been a while :-) Catching up with Nooks, and Taz and several bombs later on, it was time for a Ferg, Oh Tropical Swine how I have missed you :-)
By the time we got up the next day it was about 3pm, I think we really needed that sleep. Having said that, in a sleeping bag beside a couching and spluttering Englishman for 11 hours, people have killed for less... And then to Ferg for brunch and round to Saul James's for a bottle of Bourbon and right back on it
again. Smashed that and down to Frasers and Minus 5 before catching Jason "The Animal" JC patrick-Smith, my Worldly twin and a few more Jagers with the Saul man. Nooks even found his legs and came out for a few along with Nicky. Good times, good friends and Sir Bodly got asked to leave Buffalo, all boxes ticked in QT. We nearly chose to leave QT the next day so to break up the 11 hour drive north but hung about to take as much time left with old friends. But up early the next day for an 11 hour drive with a coughing spluttering Englishman. People have killed for less...
Driving back the next day was fine, crossing fine and into Welly by midnight to Sarah's again. Another early start for our drive North (which turned into another 11 hours with a coughing...) to our 2nd last game, South Africa V Samoa. We were planted in the middle of a crowd of S'Africans whose banter was rather aggressive but it was a great game none the less at a SA win 13-5. A game that Samoa could have won had they not made so many unnecessary errors. And
Minus 5, just sooooo cooooool Saul :-)
so to it. Our last game and the biggest awaited one of the whole tournament. A historic game where for the first time Scotland and England play on neutral ground. Now I say Neutral, but lets face it, it was the entire world versus England when it came to the support that day.
Breakfast with paul again. Met Mr McG at Sky city amongst a wee group who thought he was a player, but actually ended up getting more excited when they found out he was the physio as one of them wanted his job! We had a wee squizz at the Weta cave/shop down stairs and watched as a few of the Scotland players got harnessed up to do the skytower jump pre game! Over the road to Starbucks for coffee and roll and got chatting away about the game ahead. Towards the end of our coffee my heart jumped and sank like nothing I had ever known, the cardborad tube that Paul had given me with a LotR map of NZ was missing and in side it was the tickets to the game that night! I bolted down stairs to where I had left it in the
crowded starbucks section beside the sugars and milk, but it had gone. I have not felt dread like that since I was a child and had done something so terribly wrong, this fear was alien and horrible, I couldn't believe I had been so careless. In a frantic craze i ran into the starbucks managers office and spurted out some kind of noise which couldn't quite be described as vocabulary and the look on thier face to me said they were thinking about phoning either the police, an ambulance or reaching under the desk for somejkind of weapon to protect themselfs from this dribbling orc, recently escaped from the Weta workshops. Thank fully the noise formulated itself into such words like "tube" and with random hand gestures to the size of the item, he started to smile and instead of producing a weapon, he produced the very cardboard tube I had left on the counter. I don't think I have ever been so relieved. Tickets and map inside, I returned upstairs to the frown of one Mr P McG...
So here we were, an Englishman and a Scotsman, travelling together for the last 3 weeks waiting for this very
day. We suited up. Morphsuits make their second appearance and on went the war paint. We marched down Queen street to the amusment and delight of all passing people. Smiles, open mouths, cameras, cars tooting, people posing with us and shouts of "COME ON SCOTLAND!" I couldn't resist the moment od running into the middle of the large junction shouting the first of what was many "FREEEEEEEEEEEDDDOOOOMMMMMMMMM"s that day. It was great, being able to hide behind the facepaint gave us both a lot of confidence in costume and we became probably the most photographed people in NZ that day. We met Mr White, Emma Starr and Georgia McCreadie at the Kingslander, took a table by the pavement and porceeded to take in the best 4 hours of screaming, shouting, posing, singing, eating, drinkning that anyone in costume could. Everywhere people were queing to get in and we were having a blast inforont of the thousands of passers by, many of whom now have photos of me and Bods with all our war paint.
And it was time. Time to leave in celebrations of Tonga beating France and head to Eden park for the Epic battle. All the way,
well, in boose anyway :-)
cameras, chants, screams and shouts, flags, outfits, stilts, bands and general wonderful mayhem. We couldn't go 20 yards without another photo being taken of us. Not even at the stadium and I had already lost my voice! We got our beers and were sitting in the comps section amongst folk that we had sat with in Wellington... and started to scream even louder and harder for the next 2 hours. Whether or not we made it onto TV remains to be seen, I hope to see us both in some publication in the future as the press cameras were very snap happy. And the majority of our war cries went down with a deal of laughter too. It was, quite simply, Epic. There's little point ion me going into the vents of the game itself, most of us watched it and know the outcome. It was a great performace by scotland and I was gutted when we lost in the last section of the game. Even the surrounding English were empathetic in their win and our loss. We were the last to leave the stadium but still in full voice and friends, we headed to the train back into the
the outside crowd wanting in
city and what a train journey that was! Packed in like sardines and everyone singing in full voice what ever tune came to your head and started to sing, total wonderful mayhem.
We headed straight to Danny Doolans which I only mention as we met Jonah Lomu's brother as a doorman there! And therein lies the journey. 4 weeks of the best international rugby, with some upsets, tears and laughter, reunited with old friends and haunts, exhausting enjoyment and beautifly painfull heads all climaxing for that last game together. Bods flew the next day, yesterday. We took the rental back to the airport and he checked in. Along with the Scotland team where I got the chance to say cherio to Paul and see a few of the team. At least one Scotsman got to send an Englishman home that day.
My last blog and goodbye to NZ, for now. My last 2 days will be with an old school pal Duncan Shouler and a rather quiet affair, I hope. 30 hours of travel to get home and hope to be back in Edinburgh Thursday afternoon. Its been awesome and time to sign off... Good morning, and
in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night... - Truman Burbank
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