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Monday, May 23, 2011

Goodbye Christchurch, Hello Wellington

One of the results of the earthquake that slammed Christchurch, New Zealand was that ALL of the matches for Rugby World Cup 2011 that were to be played at the home of the Crusaders were moved to other venues due to damage to hotels and the stadium in Christchurch.

I had initially bought tickets for Australia-Russia in Christchurch. Since all of the games in Christchurch got cancelled, what the New Zealand organizers decided to do was to refund ALL of the ticketholders for games in Christchurch, and then have the holders be given first priority to purchase tickets at other venues.

I already had tickets to see USA-Italy in Nelson. As luck would have it, the Australia-Russia game was to be played...also in Nelson. I thought long and hard about it.  On the one hand, I could have stayed in Nelson for both matches, but who knows when I will get a chance to get to Kiwi-land again? I decided that  in terms of costs and logistics, to not get the Austrlalia-Russia match in Nelson. Instead, I decided to get tickets for Argentina-Scotland in Wellington. This works for me on a couple of different levels: It will allow my wife and I to take the ferry from Wellington to the South Island. Argentina-Scotland is going to be a key match in deciding who goes to the quarterfinals out of their group. The game is just a couple of days before USA-Italy in Nelson, so travel logistics should not be that bad.

Back in 2007, when I went to the Rugby World Cup in France, I had a chance to see Argentina-Namibia  at the Stade VĂ©lodrome in Marseille. The Argentine fans were just great, and I think a match pitting the passionate South Americans against the Scots, with their kilt-clad army of travelling supporters should have a great ambiance.

Now it's back to the not so-small matter of saving money for the cost of a plane ticket to get me to Australia to visit my Aunt Kay, and then to New Zealand to catch some rugby and soak up the culture.

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