Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bledisloe Cup: Trans-Tasman rugby union rivalry

As former prefect of Cuthbertson House of Geelong Grammar School, I should technically be rooting for the "wallabies" (Australian rugby union national team).  However, while still a student there, Ireland was the team I rooted for in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and never picked any union or league club to support.

My recent trip to Auckland has shown me "the flip side of the coin" regarding the trans-Tasman rivalry between New Zealand and Australia.  I must admit that the former appeals to me more; the nature, the cuisine, and in particular: the mutual respect and peaceful coexistence of native and settler cultures.

Therefore it was a real treat that my host bought me a ticket to the final match of the annual Bledisloe Cup - a rugby union competition between the two nations Down Under.  My trip happen to coincide with this game and I consider myself fortunate to experience an international match at the place that pretty much every New Zealander considers as "The Temple of Rugby": Eden Park.  In particular, it was because I got to see the pre-match haka by the All Blacks live!

If you don't already know, and are curious, please click on the following link to learn about the differences between rugby league and rugby union.

For those of you who are wondering...  The All Blacks beat the Wallabies by a score of 51-20 and captain Richie McCaw got to lift the Bledisloe Cup yet again.

I still keep the ticket stub in my wallet.

Pre-match report

Betraying my secondary school education - I pledge allegiance to the Silver Fern.

Unfortunately this buggy had to be used.  A fireworks shard cut the forehead of a woman as it fell from the sky.  She was rushed to a hospital.

The tastiest stadium food I've ever had.  The traditional beef pie was actually filled with quality beef chunks in a stew akin to boeuf bourgignon.

Each ticket sold contributes to the Cure Kids charity.  Their symbol is the red clown nose.  They encourage you to wear this during the match.

Richie McCaw lifting the Bledisloe Cup

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