My Rugby World Cup schedule had been planned to make sure I saw the mighty All Blacks play at least 3 times, the first of those games saw them face Namibia at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.  The closest of the stadiums to my home I took the option of travelling from Chelmsford.  At £12.50 return that was a good deal, I was able to park in the road as it was after 6pm too, so safe and free!

IMG_0475

IMG_0485

I had a great chat with a Mum and her 2 kids on the way, one of the joys of train travel, we were all headed to the Olympic Stadium and all excited to see the mighty All Blacks play.  I’ve been lucky enough to see the men in black a few times in recent years and I will never tire of their brand of rugby.

IMG_0493

IMG_0499

IMG_0500

Their opponents for this match, Namibia have as their captain one Jacques Burger, a Saracens man, he plays with a passion that should see his team win every time.  It would be a very big ask, however,  to beat the World Champions!

IMG_0507

IMG_0511

IMG_0513

The All Blacks lined up for the Haka – and wonders, we could hear it as well as see it.  It’s become a  habit at Twickenham to sing over the top of one of the best traditions in the world of rugby, but boy, it’s so much better when you can hear it too!

IMG_0522

IMG_0524

This isn’t going to be any kind of match report just a collection of random thoughts and recollections!  The All Blacks were, well the All Blacks – they play with a style that is rarely matched.

IMG_0552

IMG_0587

IMG_0603

The Men in Black scored a mighty 9 tries sharing the spoils around.  A player I’ve never seen live, Nehe Milner-Skudder truly was the star of the show.  He has the dancing feet of an outstanding wing man, scoring 2 of his own 5 pointers and having plenty of involvement in the others.

IMG_0621

IMG_0637

IMG_0677

Steve Hansen had said earlier in the year that the rolling maul is ‘boring’ (with an added word) and that it should be ok to pull it down.  Now that would literally be because his team simply don’t need to engage in that way of playing, yet they can be vulnerable to it. To a man, the tries we saw were scintillating and exciting.

IMG_0698

IMG_0699

IMG_0700

What was also exciting was that Namibia put up a great fight, they played with grit and determination and Johan Deysel scored a try he’ll never forget against the current World Champions!  It’s s plan that the underdogs have great support from every singe neutral in the stadium.  I suspect that a fair few All Blacks fans applauded the effort too!

IMG_0712

IMG_0730

A comment about Beauden Barrett – of all the kickers I’ve seen I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an effortless kicking style, casual was the word, very impressive to see!

IMG_0752

IMG_0804

IMG_0806

Adding this in as I’m adding my photos – it was great to see/hear the rugby icon that is Richie McCaw get the great reception he deserved – another thing I don’t approve of is hearing the crowd booing one of the true greats of the game!

IMG_0835

IMG_0849

Another random comment – I formed the thought when I was lucky enough to be up close to 8 of the All Blacks a few weeks ago and this game reinforced my theory.  Bulk and hours and hours in the gym don’t seem to be high on the agenda, I’d say of you saw the majority of these men in the street you’d know they were sportsmen but not necessarily rugby players – skill is all!

IMG_0853

IMG_0860

And so the game finished with a scoreline of All Blacks 58 Namibia 14 – the All Blacks didn’t have it easy, Namibia can be proud of their contribution.

IMG_0864

IMG_0888

The Olympic Stadium is a great venue for rugby, I had a Category C seat and had a fine view of the whole pitch.  For me the journey home was smooth once I got to the station, a delight to be home within an hour!

  • Cost of ticket         £85.00

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s