Rugby World Cup Opens in Auckland

Last Friday, the Rugby World Cup 2011 finally started. And since the opening ceremony was in our new home town of Auckland, Rita and I went down to the Central Business District on Friday afternoon to get a feel for the atmosphere. We were far too late to get onto Queen’s Wharf, so we just strolled down Queen’s Street from Wellesley Street to the waterfront. I had expected that a few people would make an effort to go out and celebrate, but I had not expected the 100,000 people who were estimated to be there, in addition to the 60,000 who were at Eden Park.

Of course it would have been a lot more colourful if the home team weren’t the All Blacks, with their fans dressed accordingly. It looked like a bizarrely boisterous funeral. It was left to the Tongan supporters to add some colour to the occasion, and they were great fun. The bus driver that took us home was from Tonga and he was getting into the spirit of things – blowing his horn every time he passed any of his flag-waving countrymen. A great atmosphere. And we were fortunate not to be affected by the transport problems that some people faced.

Here’s a sense of what it was like:

And the rugby has been pretty good, with some great games. I do feel for the Welsh, who were desperately unlucky (and hard done by?) in their loss to South Africa. I can’t wait for Wednesday’s games!

About Neil Hambleton

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, after joining South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a Hong Kong-based branch of the BSAC. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.
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2 Responses to Rugby World Cup Opens in Auckland

  1. Vinnie says:

    Why is the English rugby team wearing black all of a sudden, isn’t black the official colours of the New Zealand national team which they’ve been wearing like for a hundred years . I mean the New Zealand team are after all called the “The All Blacks” , if you look carefully there’s a clue in there somewhere.
    So whose dumb idea was this , the English team or was it a clever marketing strategy by the suppliers of the jersey -Nike who may be competing with rivals Adidas that supply the New Zealand team with theirs.
    Regardless I don’t think black makes the English look slimmer anyway.

  2. Neil Hambleton says:

    I’ve been wearing black shirts for years, and I don’t think it’s made me look slimmer.

    It’s a ridiculous idea, perhaps to try and wind up the Kiwis. The sad thing is, that they’d be far better off trying to copy their rugby not their kit! Although they might find that a lot more difficult.

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