Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011. England v Argentina. Dunedin.

Sat, September 10th 2011
The Bella Vista Motel was perfect. I had booked a one bedroomed apartment this was clean, warm (once the heater was on), well equipped, with very comfortable beds. It is a walking distance of about 15 minutes to Dunedin and 20 minutes to the new Stadium.
We had a quick trip to the supermarket for the essential supplies. I found the meat, fruit and veg in the shop to look lovely and very good quality but exceptionally expensive, about double the price in the UK. The worst thing is the price of bread, it is so expensive, one brown loaf worked out to be over three pounds.  
We found one Bank in Dunedin that would change UAE Dirhams and went to Speights Brewery for lunch and a tour of the Brewery. The lunch was good and hearty, helping us to recover from the jet lag. But the tour of the brewery felt a little rushed. They had put on extra tours due to the Rugby World Cup and were rushing the groups through the Brewery. I know no more about the brewing of beer than I did before we started the tour. The tour ends in the Bar where you could sample six of the brews, serving yourself from the pumps. This was good fun, but again we were kept on a strict time schedule and after exactly 30 minutes that was it, bar closed.
The town of Dunedin was starting to fill up with Rugby fans of various nationalities, but predominantly English and Argentinean. We sat in a bar and watched the other matches being played at various locations around the country.

Dunedin pulled out the stops to keep the fans entertained, throughout the town live entertainment was provided, many organisations were fund raising by running burger stalls ect. The Octagan, in the centre of the city was packed and a really lively atmosphere was developing as the Argentinean fans beat drums and summonsed their fans support, to counteract this, the Engalnd fans were singing. At 19.00 the masses of fans set off to walk a set route to the new Dunedin stadium. The Otago Stadium, this stadium is brand new, it is enclosed, so the weather conditions don’t matter. Tonight it was a fine evening, but incredibly cold. Once in the stadium, made from steel and plastic, protected us from the cold wind and was warm. Our seats were fantastic, we sat just above the score board ( typical!! I had not brought my Cannon Camera with me & would have got some really great shots of the players). The match was intense, with the Argentinean players and fans putting on a great display. England’s performance was blighted by ill discipline, and Jonny missing a string of kicks. The Rugby may not have been great but for atmosphere it was one of the best matches I have been to.

We walked back to Dunedin in jubilant mood, and some of us partied till five in the morning, and even then the bars and town were still dancing!