It’s a very exciting time. Just look how excited those people are in that image. The city is filling up with tourists from all over the world, and unlike the Cruise Line Season, these ones will be less homogenous and stick around after dark. However, like the Cruise Line Season, these tourists will be clogging our streets with large groups of people moving slowly as they figure out where a good place to eat/shop/drink might be. Or even “what does that sign say?”
This is where you come in, wonderful local. Don’t be a hater.
These folks are just on their holidays. Would you want some asshole local grumbling at you, pushing you out of the way or just being rude while you’re on holiday? If they have a map or guidebook out, they may even need help. Now I understand that sometimes certain tourists (often those from an island off the coast of France) can be obnoxious, feel free to ignore them.
Some of these tourists will be unignorable, I talk of course about the hotties. Wellington gets the Latin love-machines from Argentina for one night only (against Scotland), but if a recent quote about wanting see the local women is anything to go by, look out ladies. The French will be in town again, so don’t be surprised if there’s a large number of people in town with sexy voices ordering loads of wine and cheese (who aren’t part of the Wellingtonista). Also, if the Lions Tour of ’05 was anything to go by, the Welshmen tend to be quite the wooers as well.
Also remember that the majority of fans here for the cup are, well, old; especially the ones who had to travel a very long way to get here and are not wearing massive backpacks. This is not the Sevens where any pack of drunks can get tickets. The majority of fans will not be munters boozing it up on Courtenay Place. That’s what we will be doing… well without the munter bit. Avoiding munters is actually fairly simple. Pretty much just don’t go to the bars you normally don’t go to.
Speaking of bars you don’t go to, fans of the Alternate Rugby Commentary, hosted by media-darling Jed Thian, will be overcome with excitement as the ARC returns to a regular spot at the Green Man pub. If you haven’t heard the ARC before, it’s wonderfully one-eyed and
There will be 25 ARC commentaries across 30 days of the tournament, with all calls available for Rugby lovers LIVE on ARCRUGBY.CO.NZ.
- Blackness v The Kingdon of Donga – Sept 9
- Los Puma’s v New Zealand C – Sept 10
- The Irish v The Yanks – Sept 11
- Meateaters v Wales
- Russia v The Yanks – Sept 15
- Blackness v Japan – Sept 16
- Meateaters v Fiji – Sept 17
- Convicts v The Irish
- Wales v Manu Samoa – Sept 18
More announcements on selected games will follow in the coming weeks!
And if you don’t know what the ARC is like, here’s a taster (NSFW language):
Other pubs will also be showing the rugby (from what I understand) though with the bland commentary from the major television networks. Some of the best places to watch rugby in town are The Bristol and Four Kings. Both are very “pubby” and Four Kings is definitely a sports bar, but you’ll always be able to see the screen and the beer and food is plentiful. Four Kings also let you book their booths, which is handy if there’s going to be a few of you. The Grand will be projecting the games onto their building as well, if you want to stand on Courtenay Pl looking at The Grand.
Here’s a tip for those who like good beer but have to drink in big-brewery sponsored bars. If you are drinking at a bar with Mac’s or other Lion beers on tap, check the fridge for Little Creatures’ Pale Ale, a lovely beer from Aussie. Works a treat at Four Kings.
You can also watch the games on massive screens with other rugby fans (or simply passers-by) at the designated “Fan Zones”, via the hard-to-find official website (where you will also find info on those free concerts).
As for the games played live, by international rugby teams in our own generically re-named “Wellington Regional Stadium” (yawn) I recommend the ones you see below (not including the quarterfinals, which should be good). Wellington actually has more pool games than any other city and I’m going to be at all them (even Argentina – Scotland) as media for Public Address (plug plug).
South Africa – Wales: This is not going to be the game everyone assumes it is. But the effect of a team in green playing a team in red will make it feel like Christmas.
France – Tonga: This match is the one I have been telling everyone to go to. I’m not sure how close it will be but Tonga seems to pick up its game at every World Cup. Plus it has the bonus of a pacific island team playing the team from the northern hemisphere that (traditionally) most plays like a pacific island team. On top of that: Blue vs Red, means it will be insanely easy to watch for newbies and kids. Expect big tackles and explosive running.
New Zealand – Canada: I mention this only because I know a few Canadians and because this game kicks off at 3:30pm. An All Blacks game played in the afternoon? What is this, Bizarro World?
At the stadium there’s a whole bunch of other stuff going on. Don’t expect to find anything fantastic to eat or drink, expect long queues for EFTPOS machines and no free wi-fi. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to find this terribly annoying because when I go to the rugby I eat hotdogs, drink a few thin lagers and only ever bring cash. Also I don’t go to the rugby for the internet. Nor do I go to throw car parts, which is lucky because they are specifically listed as something you cannot bring in.
So get out there and enjoy yourself and revel in the mood the city gets when it’s full of international visitors all here for a party.