The night the country had been waiting for, a well-deserved victory for New Zealand rugby players and fans alike! I was fortunate to arrive at the hotel in time to see the team bus and the motorcade of motorcycles and security heading out to Eden Park.
A met up with friends at Glen’s apartment on K Rd and worked my way through throngs of rugby fans making their way to Eden Park for the final game of the Rugby World Cup 2011.
I headed down Queen St and through Aotea Square, where the tiny band of Occupy Queen St protesters were stationed. The postered area seemed quiet, as I’m sure most of the activists were more interested in the rugby.
The entirety of lower Queen St was closed off in anticipation of the festivities. The New Zealand flag flew proudly between the buildings in Auckland’s CBD as hundreds of decorated and face-painted fans hooted and hollered in support of their team and their country!
The entire city felt like a massive all night party. I can’t imagine mardi gras being larger than an event like this! The excitement and unity of the people of this nation, the ex-patriots, the visitors and tourists is why I came to New Zealand during the world cup.
The match was nerve-wrackingly close! It was anyone’s game until the whistle was blown. We all believed the All Blacks would win, but at this moment it was for certain. New Zealand beat France 8-7.
We won we won we won!!! Go New Zealand!!!