So back to Wellington; the Welsh were in full voice as you can imagine much to the amusement of the Safa's and a sing-off quickly erupted, they didn't have much besides a 'boobsosella' which we promptly drowned out... 1-0, another pub and I found myself joining in a series of scrums and lineouts against the opposition, our team fielded two very drunk 50-something drunken Camarthen blokes, myself and a handful of 'valley' ladies fronting up with their own interpretation of the haka... close but we lost that one 1-1, but much to the entertainment of bystanders and passers by. Similar antics continued early into Sunday morning with both groups of supporters in high spirits.
Match day was spent 'warming up' watching Australia v Italy... cheering for Italy of course the good old mantra 'everyone loves an underdog' just as strong this tournament and the Ireland v USA match... but everyone's alligances with our Celtic cousins on this one. You could say we were all match fit, well watered and voices prepared for the walk to 'The Cake Tin' as thousands of supporters made our way to the other side of town for kick off.
The atmosphere was electric, the anthem was emotionally charged and could rival any experienced at the Millennium, we took our seats with a solid belief that we would do it... well we all know what happens next, but I was sat behind the 'infamous posts' and along with a few hundred other supporters jumped in cheer when Hook scored another three pointer but was shocked to see both flags stay down, oh well it was not to be.
The Safa supporters were humble in their win and many agreed we should have won, one guy was so disgusted with his teams performance that he was contemplating not supporting them further in the tournament; maybe that was the drink talking.
We left Wellington the following day optimistic that a quarter final place is ours, and have taken the long way round to Hamilton in time for the next game, the road trip has taken us right up the East coast and the famous Highway 35 to beautifully hidden sandy coves, deserted plains and luscious forests, the people have been warm and friendly with some coming out of their way to acknowledge how unlucky we were in game one... one lady felt so hard done by for us that she gave us her fuel voucher, just a little reminder how sport can transcend cultures.
Hamilton is preparing to embrace the travelling Welsh and a lovely couple are kindly opening their home and 'beer fridge' to us for this weekend, we have been invited to a Supporters Party, A Great Welsh Re-Union and a Pontypridd Schools match information on these and other events can be found on http://www.facebook.com/groups/163286573748502/?notif_t=group_r2j
Yours in Rugby... excitement and a quarter final ticket.