Thursday, September 8, 2011


Last night the girls and I went to the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup which kicks off tomorrow. I don't know what the topic of conversation is in your part of the world, but in NZ it's the RWC. I really don't know what people are going to talk about when it's all over. They'll probably have to revert back to the weather and sheep.

Tickets were pretty hard to come – you had to either live in the Zone A area, attend the nearby intermediate school, or be a RWC volunteer. We didn't fall into any of those categories but I had people on the look out for me and my friend Helen managed to score some tickets from a neighbour. The luck few 100 people who received tickets were also required to sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure the opening ceremony surprises weren't leaked before the event. This really is a "Top Secret" operation. So as much as I'd like to tell you all about it, my lips are sealed.

OK, I never was very good at keeping secrets. I will tell you this much, Petra Bagust and Scotty What's-his-name were the MCs. Scotty is a sports commentator (and possibly a notable sports man in a previous life but don't quote me on that) whilst Petra is a TV personality who has transitioned into a journalist (I use that term very loosely). Petra isn't exactly loved by the public here but that doesn't really matter as she is quite in love with herself which makes up for it. She is one of the face's of NZ tourism ads however, which screen in Australia and most likely other parts of the world, which makes her somewhat recognisable. Anyway, Petra and Scotty were rather boring but I don't think you'll actually be seeing them on the television coverage – they're main job is to warm up the crowd.

The ceremony has been masterminded by David Atkins Enterprises, which staged the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Sydney Olympic Games. And I have to say, I was quite impressed. It had the usual pasifika theme, tastefully done. The history of rugby was commemorated as well which was nice seeing as it's the reason for all the fuss. We have also been promised the biggest fireworks display New Zealand has ever seen – I might even be tempted to drag the kids up Mt Eden for that! OK, that's it, I'm not going to say anymore.

Of course, no photography was allowed at the rehearsal so this pic was the best I could do with my phone camera – the outside of the stadium from the car park!

PS. For those of you who are lucky enough to be coming to Auckland for a game or two, I hope you don't end up in one of the temporary stands at Eden Park. Although we've been told they're safe and apparently the view is quite good, to me they look a little too much like giant Meccano constructions.


  1. Hazza is spewing !!!!
    Just about to upgrade our cable subscription so we can watch the Wallabies beat the All Blacks - who are you going for ???

  2. Oh, der! Do you have to ask? I've been sporting my Wallabies bag to swimming for the past few weeks. We're going to get a Wallabies flag for the car too. Watch this space.