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NZ vs Tonga
NZ vs Tonga
(All Blacks on fire in the rain)
27 Oct 2003
[RWC]
New Zealand  vs Tonga
Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane  Friday  5.30pm
Fulltime   NZ  91   Tonga   7
Halftime   NZ  35   Tonga  0
 
The Black Army was out in force prior to kickoff. As I grabbed a quick bite in the city, an Aussie passed me saying  " Shit, there are Kiwis everywhere today ".
 
At this point the sun was shining, and no clue given to what lay ahead weather wise. I took the shuttle bus from the city and chatted to 2 Highlander fans. Funny they had Aussie accents, and a closer inspection of their jersey confirmed Hylanders Rugby Club from Cairns.
 
Inside the stadium, after a few Aussie pies and Heineken's, everyone is waiting for the teams to appear. I again had the luxury of having two Wellington fans and  another " Cantab " beside me. I took great pleasure in reminding him where the shield was now residing, the Super 12 title, and consoled the Wellingtonians that the NPC was soon to join it.
 
At last the anthems are sung and u'd swear we were back in Kiwiland. The crowd goes wild as Tonga start their Haka about 20 seconds after the AB's commence.
 
The action is fast and furious but the AB's mean business and soon Braid scores the opening try. A great conversion from MacDonald soon prompts the Cantab beside me into action. Soon other tries follow and Carlos takes the in front conversion, while MacDonald takes the harder ones from the corners. He really is superb as again I'm reminded all kickers are from Canterbury.
 
The Tongans are getting a little frustrated and Braid nearly loses his head on three occasions as they go to the break. Around this time a wee light shower begins and I swear I saw a flash on the roof line, but maybe it was a camera!
 
The 2nd half begins in steady rain. Thank god I'm under cover. The Allblacks look for early points and the tries soon come with MacDonalds deadly boot converting them from all angles. By now I think I need an ear plug to my right side.
 
The handling is pretty good, unless your name is So'oialo. You would think he would be used to the wind and rain by now.  Above the roofline the lightning is becoming a worry, as is the thunder. I think I'm glad I don't have a brolly.
 
The scoreline mounts with every man and his dog getting there, ever smiling " Dougie " getting the last two and MacDonald again converts, to get a 100% on the nite.
 
A good performance by the boys to warm us fans as we make our way, through the storm, back to the city.
 
That concludes my on the spot reports. Suncorp is a brilliant stadium. The Atmosphere is fantastic and the Aussie fans were a good laugh afterwards too.
by

Let us know what you think!

A far more convincing effort from the boys in Black for sure, and it certainly was great to see that 100% kicking record, a bit sneaky of Carlos to tweak his % by taking the easy one though, he's definitely from Auckland with that sort of cheek!

As for Rangi's efforts with the boot, not a bad effort for the 5th choice kicker in Canterbury! (Merhts, Blair, Carter, Mauger are ahead of him for sure and you could even make a case to put McIntyre in front too!)

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