09 September 2011

Rugby World Cup

You don't want to miss any of the action as tonight the Rugby World Cup launches in Auckland. The crowds of 50,000 have thronged around the city square and the harbour all day today. The hype is meeting the challenge. The noise is meeting the anticipation. Will the All Blacks get up and finally win, which although they've been the favourite most every tournament, have not done since the very first World Cup back in 1987? That was the year my adopted country Australia lost to France in a stunning upset, and allowed the Kiwis to triumph handily in the final over the French.

Some of you reading this will remember the movie from 2010, Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. That brought the excitement of the every-four-year battle to many in the Americas who didn't know much about it. This photo of the real characters that Freeman and Damon played might strike your memory. It's Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar in 1995. South Africa dominated in those days.

Then came John Eales and the Aussies. And that's when I moved to Sydney. Great excitement. And I went to a match at Olympic Park. Here's my wife celebrating a try by the Waratahs, our state side.

Many folks have seen the haka, the tribal dance and battle cry of the New Zealand warriors.
Many of the NZ sports teams do that before a contest, but if it works in any sport, it very much works in rugby. You've never seen it? You must!

It's a good sport, quick, fast, with its own rules, and very different to what might seem similar sports. Enjoy it Americans. And hey, you never know, the USA team might just get up, even though US is playing in the same pool (read: division) as the Aussies. Good luck to all 20 teams.

No comments: