It was raining steadily when we got to Dunedin late yesterday afternoon and we were more than a little damp by the time we got to the stadium.
Bu once inside, out of the rain and the wind, we were able to enjoy the pre-match entertainment from the Army Band and the fun of being part of a near-capacity crowd at an international fixture without being distracted by the wet and cold.
The Forsyth Barr stadium was a controversial project and some are still concerned about its cost. But it is a wonderful facility and there is no doubt that putting a roof on it has made it much more comfortable for spectators and players.
Whoever is in charge of building whatever will replace the Christchurch stadium should be consulting the people behind Dunedin’s and going for a roof too.
And the rugby? To my admittedly inexpert eyes, England never even approached top gear and the 67-3 score said more about Romania being mis-matched than the English team performing well.
They struggled against Argentina in their first match, last week the score in the game against Georgia flattered them and last night they showed little if any flair.
The question is, is that it or will they be able to go up several notches when they’re really tested in the quarter finals?
A couple of young Scots were sitting behind us. We asked why they weren’t in Wellington to support their own team. They said they’d had tickets for Christchurch, built their itinerary round that and it was too expensive to fly from Queenstown to Wellington so they were making the most of the Rugby World Cup experience.
We didn’t tell them our nephew and his Argentinean wife got cheap seats to fly up from Dunedin and will be at the Cake Tin today cheering on Los Pumas.
We’d booked a table at Filadelfio’s to enable us to combine dinner with watching the All Blacks vs France.
It’s too soon to relax, there are a lot of important games to go yet. But last night’s 37-17 win was a wonderful way for Richie McCaw to celebrate his 100th match for the All Blacks.
Like Inventory 2, I was moved to watch an obviously ill Jock Hobbs present Richie with the silver test cap.
P.S. – We noticed a photographer with a big lens on the catwalk high above the ground. It wasn’t us he was looking for though, it was Zara Philliips and he found her.
P.P.S. – The curtain raiser was a few hours before the main game. The Nude Blacks met the Romanian Vampires (with fangs and cloaks but sans clothes) in a match at Larnach Castle earlier in the day. (Don’t click the link if you’re offended by nudity).
Full credit to whoever saw the marketing opportunity – the Nude Blacks were sponsored by grabaseat and Bottom Bus.