We were pretty tired out by Saturday, so had a chilled out day ahead of the big Rugby Championship New Zealand v Argentina game in Hamilton. That’s right, the All Blacks were actually playing in Hamilton during my two weeks here – how lucky is that!
Loads of Frazer’s fellow trainee pilots were also going, and many of us stopped off at the Good George Brewery on the way where I tried a delicious plum cider. There was the obligatory acoustic singer bashing out hits such as Oasis’ Wonderwall and Foo Fighters’ Times Like These and it had a great vibe ahead of the game, with the big screen showing the pre-match stuff. I’d definitely go back, but of course we had to rush off to the stadium a 15 minute walk away.
I live near Twickenham Stadium and have been to one Army/Navy rugby game there, and watched a fair amount of recent Six Nations and World Cup games. But seeing the mighty All Blacks play was just awesome – and to see them doing the haka too.
I’m clearly not a sports writer so won’t go into too much detail about the game itself. However the Pumas scored a try in under three minutes and played pretty well in the first half, although the All Blacks did finish the first 40 minutes in the lead (just).
But then the All Blacks absolutely smashed it in the second half and Argentina just looked more hopeless with every play. Exactly what you want to see from this fearsome side.
Half time entertainment came from 2009 Australian Idol winner Stan Walker, whose baggy white clothes and two male back up dancers looked like something out of the 1990s.
In general the atmosphere was awesome and I was also particularly happy with where we got to stand – we were right behind the goal posts and had a couple of kicks come right towards us, with several tries happening really close in front of us too.
All in all, a brilliant New Zealand experience.