The big day!! We awoke to a grey but warm day and immediately thought of the All Blacks getting ready for there big day at Twickenham. The city is buzzing with anticipation, even though the England team didn't feature. I had a long chat with the pub owner last night, he is a great rugby follower, he goes to Twickenham often, and was keen to assess the ABs chances. We were in our All Black gear for breakfast and were ready to go by mid morning. We were feeling a bit nervous so had to walk to Whitechapel for some coffee and brunch to settle the nerves. We had plenty of time so we visited our old haunts one more time.
Our favourite coffee stop in Whitehall
The movie theatre where we saw Spectre
Our supermarket on the corner by our flat
Our new favourite pub, the White Hart
We set off on our journey to win the World Cup just before lunchtime and it wasn't long before the train was packed Aussies and Kiwis. The walk to the stadium was by now very familiar and we had great fun talking with the Kiwis. It was amazing how the AB shirt bonded us together and we were slapping all sorts of strangers on the back and wishing them well. The crowds around the ground were amazing and there was a buzz around the whole ground.
Jenny outside Twickenham
And me outside the same stadium
And the two of us this time
A fine monument to rugby at the front gate
Once we were in our seats the fun began. We were again sitting with a whole group of Kiwis and everyone was friendly and keen for a chat. We found no one else from Dunedin but almost every other town and city was represented. By the time the game was ready to start the crowd was primed and buzzing. The introductory ceremony was awesome and very noisy.
The All Blacks warming up
Jenny drinking beer!
A section of All Blacks fans
Proof that we were at the RWC Final
The game itself was magic. Full of All Black dominance and skill, a significant half time score, a second half that the ABs threatened to run riot, a strong Aussie comeback, and finally a memorable seal on a great game. How we cheered when Beauden Barrett scored, how we forgot our NZ reserve and let fly in the best stadium in the rugby world! We were so carried away I was startled to see an older guy come tumbling down the stairs right beside me. Remember we were in the upper level and he was rolling fast. Fortunately he ended in a heap at the feet of the officials, blood on his head but otherwise in one piece. Apparently in the euphoria behind us, two guys fell and one took off down the stairs. I lost my mobile and reading glasses in the melee but found them again at the bottom of the steps. The lengths we go to to celebrate a win!
Afterwards, the adrenalin still pumping, we retreated to Richmond to our favourite cafe/bar to enjoy a quiet drink and a late dinner.
Our haven after the big game
More people in the cafe/bar
Jenny looking pleased after the big win
After a crowded trip home on the tube we went to bed with a glow of satisfaction that our journey had ended well.