Personal reflection on Rugby World Cup

Many of you probably never got what the big deal was with the Rugby World Cup 2011.  You have one more shot:

Please let me know if you cannot view this video!  I've been struggling with YouTube privacy settings.

As part of my preparation to fly to California on Christmas, I am finishing some of the blog tasks I had set for myself.  Today's post is all about finishing this video and publishing it to You Tube.

Here are the Director's notes:

1.  The Capping Ceremony is where the All Blacks players received their ceremonial caps for being selected to play in the World Cup.  This was before the injuries to #10s that took us from Dan Carter to Donald Terry (4 men later).

2.  Opening Day was an absolute mad house in the central business district.  The trains broke down, the buses were overflowing.  It was the only time when the planners underestimated the potential turn-out.  The rest of the tournament was really dreamy.

3.  Twenty teams played in the tournament.  At Father Ted's we are watching NZ play Japan.  Watch this amazing play that led to Japan's only try.

4.  Hayley Westerna is a Kiwi who recorded the Rugby World Cup Anthem, World in Motion, for this year's tournament.

5.  The USA-Italy game was played in Nelson, which is on the top of South Island.  Afterward I went to Abel Tasman National Park, which is where someone arranged the rocks to say Go All Blacks.  Signs were everywhere all over the country:  homemade, official, flags, bunting, you name it.

6.  Irish fans Dennis and Terry gave me the tickets to the USA-Italy game.  The Cisneros family from Nor Cal gave me a couch to sleep on and the US Ambassador treated me to a glass of beer.

7.  The Semifinal match:  we thought All Blacks vs Wallabies was stressful.  Until, of course, the real final match against France, and then the nervousness around beating Australia seemed like nothing. Piri Weepu leads the haka.  He became very popular after a couple of amazing performances against Argentina and Australia.  During the Rugby World Cup, NZ also experienced an environmental disaster with the ship Rena grounding on a reef.  People started making up all kinds of homemade posters and posts on facebook implying that Piri could fix it:  he could fix anything.  Just part of the fun.

8.  Kris and I watched the final against France in Moreton's restaurant and bar in St Heliers.  While everyone in the bar is singing "We are the Champions" by Queen, the All Blacks are doing a celebratory haka on the field in Eden Park.  Oh, and there were fireworks too.  I've often wondered, would they have set off the fireworks if France won??

All in all, it was fantastic to be here during this once-in-my-lifetime NZ world cup.