Another weekend, another All Blacks demolition of a supposedly good European rugby team!
The ABs looked in a different class to the Welsh - and never looked like losing. I guess we were particularly disappointed with the Welsh forwards, which just got monstered by Hayman, Collins and the other hardmen in the New Zealand team.
It was pretty disappointing that the All Blacks didn't do the haka on the field (preferring the confines of the training room). The game started with a responding round of boos, from everyone in the crowd - New Zealand and Welsh fans alike. Since the game there has been a variety of finger pointing between the two teams, but it is something that needs to be sorted out, and quickly with the world cup around the corner. I know that the ABs stance is that the haka is performed for the players themselves - but I consider that it is part of the team, both of which (the team and the haka) belong to the entire NZ public.
After the game we happened upon a couple of wee Welsh kids throwing around a rugby ball. Initially they were a bit scared of me until their mother pointed out that I was a New Zealander. From this point forward they were very keen to throw the ball around with me - although I was a little surprised to get caught in a flying tackle by a 6 year old! A wee bit sketchy after a few beers as I almost stepped on him! The skill level of those two kids was pretty amazing - they were able to drop kick a rugby ball against a wall in a controlled enough way so that the ball returned to them.
We then headed into town - it actually felt a lot more like New Zealand than most places in England as the entire place was pumping. The Welsh people were very hospitable (more so than NZers would be if we'd just been handed out a hiding!) - and they all wanted to dive into a deep analysis of the game - such as "Daniel Carter's 6th kick - if he'd passed it then and then run a switch through the centres, surely this would have been a better option?"...
We ended up in the RSA which was great because all the old Welsh guys started singing old songs in their booming voices. Sounded excellent but I have no idea what they were on about. It was also interesting as the England versus South Africa game was on the big screen - all the Welsh guys cheered when South Africa scored and boo'ed when England did anything positive. I realised there was a bit of animosity, but I didn't think it would be to this level!