And so here we are. It's the year of the Rugby World Cup, an event that a lot of people are looking forward to (haters to the back please) and that a lot of people worked hard to get to New Zealand in the first place. And after all of the bitching and moaning about stadiums and where we'll hold the after party it turns out one major city won't get the games it was supposed to.
This is nobody's fault of course. The earth moved and took the ground out from under the best laid plans.
What is odd is what the plans are for the games that were to be played in Lancaster Jade Christchurch Stadium. The organisers will "ensure as many pool matches as reasonably possible" be played in other South Island venues. And they possibly will with the smaller centres getting a few more games (and the places that were "snubbed" for games previously should be raising their hands).
But Auckland gets the quarterfinals. I can't figure that one out.
They take away the ONLY finals to be played in the South Island and not only move them out of the island, but to the other end of the North Island.
“Eden Park was the only logical alternative to stage two of the Tournament’s premier matches given the ground capacity and visitor accommodation demands associated with these quarter-final matches,” said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden.
And that is possibly true. Possibly. But both of them? After pool play the party moves to the North Island and the South Island can watch the rest on TV.
I know, I know. But we don't have much time to piss about with this stuff. I have been thinking about this since the day after the quake (when I turned to Amy and asked "who do you think is going to be the first person to mention the World Cup?" [Answer: John Campbell, later that night]). Decisions are going to be made quickly and they are going to hurt a lot of people, to get things done.
It doesn't mean we have to be happy about it.
The All Blacks have had a game added to the beginning of their season too. A benefit match for Christchurch against an opponent that is yet to be named.
If I may throw in my suggestion, why not Japan? In fact play two games, one here and one in Tokyo (or somewhere close to Tokyo if they are still suffering blackouts*), with the proceeds of each match going to help the people in that country.
"Yes, you're right Hadyn that's a great idea." Thank you.