Observation the First: It’s only been 7 weeks since I was last in Auckland (I don’t count the terminal transfer on my USA trip), but there’s so much new stuff for me to see this weekend. Wynyard Quarter, Queen’s Wharf, The Cloud, The Improvisors entertaining RWC punters, Auckland Art Gallery, Q Theatre…
Observation the Second but following on from the First: I’m really glad to see that the city of my birth has started getting its shit together, train systems notwithstanding. I think a certain Mr Joyce should be a little more co-operative on that front.
Observation the Third: My parents are awesome. They are Rugby World Cup volunteers and have scored me a free ticket to Australia vs Ireland at Eden Park on Saturday night. I’m going to go with my Dad and it’ll be great.
Observation the Fourth related to the Second and the Third which is actually a statement of intent: The First Asian A* B* finishes just before 7:30pm at The Basement (Lower Greys Ave, Auckland Central), and Australia vs Ireland starts at 8:30pm at Eden Park.
- Original plan prior to Friday 9 September: Leave Basement, walk down the hill to Britomart Station, take the train to Kingsland Station, walk to the ground.
- New plan after Friday 9 September: Leave Basement, walk 45 minutes straight to Eden Park, actually get to the game on time.
Observation the Fifth which is actually a Question: What the hell was up with that Welsh penalty kick?
Observation the Sixth following from the Fifth: Nobody at Sky Sport (aka “HB”) has analysed the kick to death using multiple camera angles. Come on, at any major rugby OB there are like a dozen cameras on the action at any given time. What, is there some IRB prohibition against broadcasters second-guessing referees?
Observation the Seventh related to the Fifth and the Sixth: One part of me feels sorry for Wales for their loss. They’re the underdog, they played a good match against one of the strongest teams in the world, and they played a full 80 minutes of rugby. But another part of me reckons that you deserve to lose if you attempt a drop-goal in anything other than the 79th minute. It’s just not cricket. You’re in the Southern Hemisphere now, save that Jonny Wilkinson shit for back home.
Observation the Eighth: The All Blacks need to lose to France in our pool match on 24 September. Reasons:
- France always messes us up. If the All Blacks win, they’ll be over-confident.
- Winning seven test matches in a row is difficult at the best of times for the All Blacks, let alone any team in world rugby. Best to break the wins up with a loss in the middle.
- France can only fire once. If they beat us, they won’t be a threat for the rest of the tournament. Jeez, they’ll probably even lose to Tonga a week later.
- Losing a game will focus the mind, but losing this one is not fatal. We’ll just get second in Pool A, not first.
- If we get second in Pool A, all the ABs fans who booked tickets to the expected quarter-final and semi-final will have their plans derailed. I will laugh heartily at indignant rugby fans whining in the media. Ho ho ho ho.