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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodbye Australia

I probably should be commenting on Saturday night's defeat of the Wallabies at the hand of an inspired Irish side. The Wallaby front row had a really rough night at the office against Ireland, and Australia never could get it's running game on track at an Eden Park that sounded more like Croke Park in Dublin. The 15-6 Irish victory made things very interesting for the World Cup brackets and organizers. As things stand, it looks like Ireland will win the group and likely face either Wales or Fiji in the quarterfinals.

The Wallaby loss means that if things go according to plan with the rest of group play, the Aussies should play South Africa in the quarterfinals-with the winner of that match getting a semi-final date with the host All Blacks. All of the sudden, the other side of the bracket looks like it has parted like the Red Sea for England-and Ireland.

As for this rugby fan, my time in Australia has come to a close. My wife and I leave on Monday morning to fly from Melbourne to Wellington.

It has been an amazing last 20 days here in Australia. My wife and I have enjoyed the sights in Melbourne, Sydney and the Alpine area of northern Victoria. We also had a chance to see the Penguin parade at Phillip Island, about an hour from Melbourne. I had never heard of Phillip Island prior to my arrival in Australia, and it was worth the trip. You cannot take pictures of the penguins(park rules), but I can just say the experience was something that I will never forget. 

On my last day here in Australia, my wife and I had a chance to take the tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, known to most sport fans as the MCG. One thing people don't know, is that you can get a great view of downtown Melbourne(and the Rod Laver Arena) from the MCG....

For me, the MCG is one of those iconic stadiums, like Yankee Stadium in New York, Wembley Stadium in London and Maracana in Rio. The MCG has been re-done and re-invented many, many times over the years, and has seen events from Aussie Football Finals, top-flight rugby, test cricket, the 1956 Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. To have had a chance to not only see the MCG, but walk on the field, was pretty amazing....
So on Monday, the great adventure continues...the Missus and I go to Wellington for 7 days, then 3 days in Nelson, back to Welly, then to be continued...

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