You would have to be hiding in Shrek the Sheep’s cave if you didn’t know that NZ has got a serious case of Rugby Fever! Over the past week, we have seen All Black
flags every few minutes, on cars, houses, businesses, trucks, farm fences and more crazy places, like the usually orange giant carrot in Ohakune! NZ is playing good host so far, with towns or businesses adopting a second team. Appropriately Westland Greenstone adopted the Irish team in their green jerseys. There is apparently 22,000kms of Rugby World Cup bunting, which features the flag of each competing country.
The Irish on the bus are figuring out how to get to Taranaki. The English to Dunedin, the French back to North Harbour Stadium, the Canadians to Wellington, and the Americans probably didn’t know they had a team! The Dutch are probably feeling a little left out. The best I could do for the Germans on the bus was to take them to the Final of ITM Cup (Provincial Competition), where the Waikato team wore the German national colours of Red, Yellow & Black.
Getting to watch the awesome Rugby World Cup opening ceremony with my international travelers and a few locals at the Riwaka tavern, was miles better than being stuc
k on a train in Auckland! Certainly no traffic or parking issues in Riwaka.
We’ve got a two day rest period from watching games, which is great timing as we have got a brilliant blue sky day here in Franz Josef. When you can’t watch rugby you may still dream about rugby though! The All Blacks were having a retreat at Rangitata rafting lodge when we were there, and I was just sorting out teams for a game of touch rugby when I woke up!
Roll on Friday, when we’ll be in Queenstown to watch the All Blacks vs Japan! (Also roll on Rangitata as well, in case my dreams come true!)