We who are about to die, salute you...
I'm not really going to write about the actual game yesterday afternoon because you've all seen it anyway. I will tell you what the game was like from the 'galleries' however.
The stadium has a colliseum-like atmosphere, and succeeds in bringing out the larrikin in virtually everybody. It's the stadium where everybody knows your name, unless you're from the wrong country or province, in which case you can piss off to your own bar and insert your soggy fries in both nostrils.
It was a rather indifferent build-up. Despite the entire country refusing to buy tickets to their poxy shows, Bardot turned up in extremely boring sensible attire and inflicted their music on a crowd which, quite frankly hated them. Try, if you will, to imagine thousands of people shouting 'Fuck off' and 'get your kit off' simultaneously. We can be poison too.
True Bliss turned up later. Everyone hated them as well, just not as much. The little blonde one had her hair in dreadlocks, for those of you interested in that sort of thing.
The PA then began to play sort of trumpety-sporty-nuremberg rally-y music, before the Wallabies came on, wearing their traditional sissy boy tracksuits. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and I'm sure many Australians were paralysed with fear, by the sudden appearance of little black pieces of cardboard around the ground. The music built to a crescendo as Todd Blackadder led the boys out of the rather grand players' tunnel. There was much rejoicing. Chills ran up the spine and many nipples stood to attention in the brisk Wellington southerly.
There was sort of a game thingy after that. The Wallybies ran in two soft tries, as the All Black mid field went to sleep, we got some tries as well. Then it was half time.
In the mean time, myself and 'team Graeme' (Graeme being the loudest and most offensive person in my row), had set about taunting a man who was being paid to hold a rope up to prevent people (like Graeme) running on to the field and giving his famous impression of an elephant to the referee (always be wary of a man in track pants).
The rope guy wasn't holding his bit of the rope up and wasn't watching the rugby either. This was deemed offensive to many who had sold body parts and family members to Asian Triads for the priviledge of getting a seat at the ground (and ocaisionally watching some rugby). After an emergency meeting of the rope-holders and car park attendants union on the sideline, a new rope person was found and the problem was solved.
The second half was quite absorbing. We didn't score any tries and neither did they. There was four minutes injury time, the refereeing was excellent and we failed to win a crucial lineout before conceding a stupid penalty in front of the goal posts.
Of course I was ready to declare war on Tasmania and head-butt the referee at the time, but I'm much better now.
All in all a great game and a marvellous spectacle. Roll on the NPC and the Lions/Canterbury clash.