A few of us are situated half-a-dozen miles outside the city of Wellington in Petone, the club of former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga, among others.
We choose to travel in to the Welsh team’s headquarters by train, though we have a hefty vehicle at our disposal, to avoid the usual traffic chaos.
If there is a more attractive journey into a city centre, as the train travels along one side of the harbour, the mountains resplendent in the background, I’d like to see it.
And the parliament building designed by Sir Basil Spence, and known locally as the Beehive, is another sight to behold, though not quite as easy on the eye.
Another example of the antipathy between those great rivals from across the Tasman Sea – New Zealand and Australia.
The host country for the World Cup don’t take too kindly to being beaten by their great rivals, a fairly rare occurrence until recent times when rugby in Australia took off.
The All Blacks recently lost a belter against the Wallabies 25-20, and with it went the Tri Nations title. Making it even worse, the Aussies are currently coached by Robbie Deans who just happens
to be a New Zealander who never got the top job in his own country so switched his allegiance.
Anyway, one New Zealand television announcer couldn’t resist having a dig at the ‘opposition’ when he said on air, “There were more people queuing up at an appliance store than there were to see
the Australians today.”
Talk about giving priority to the TV boys. Now I know their companies pay the big bucks to the governing bodies, but to walk into a Wales press conference is to walk into a wall – of TV cameras.
Chairs were provided for the written media, but they weren’t much use if you couldn’t see who you were talking to on the top table behind all those cameras.
Surely a more strategic position further back in the room would have been a solution. It’s bad enough being stuck in the worst Press box in international rugby at the Millennium Stadium, even if
it’s probably the best ground.
The WRU communications chief took the complaint on board and says something will be done about it next week. We’ll see.
The bullish Boers have hit town, many in evidence in windy Wellington as the South Africans, as big, if not bigger off the field than on it, arrived.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take the confident smiles off their faces tomorrow!