all eyes on NZ for the 2011 RWC
Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud- in Maori language) is the name the first native paddlers gave to the country now called New Zealand as they entered its shores way back, way before Abel Tasman and his boys sailed in around 1642.
This wee country is the next stop on the RWC agenda and recently things all started off in the right way with a Powhiri (Maori welcoming
ceremony) to bless the proceedings and let the Tangata whenua (people of the land) begin the important cultural proceedings, as soon the world will be heading to their country & they want it all to go well.
In a fantastic initiative tourism NZ has created a massive rugby ball and planted it next to the famous London Bridge, this ball come Marae (place of gathering) is where the all important draw for the 2011 RWC took place. All the big wigs, the team captains from all over the globe and most coaches were present and they took part in the Maori welcome and then the draw. As events unfolded the luck or fate of the draw has seen some interesting pools formed, the script sees revenge match ups early on in pool play and 2011 looks like the hardest RWC so far to win.
Before we digest the intriguing games we will have a look at Aotearoa the country. NZ has a population of 4.3 million, 120,000 of which play rugby, 4.2 million of which avidly support the countries game. It has many unique things, some world famous, some only world famous within NZ itself. For starters NZ has L&P- Lemon and Paeroa; a fizzy drink with iconic following in the country. This great farming country shocked the world by inventing the electric fence; they even had a lad Sir Ed that first climbed Mt Everest the tallest mountain in the world. They were the first country in the world to allow woman to vote & today the open mindedness & multicultural blend makes NZ a beautiful place to visit and share in the alive culture & pristine green national parks. It is not overcrowded – unless you are a local and 5 other people are on your beach is cosidered congested, which simply means cruising down the coast a bit to another amazing cove.
To make things even more peaceful and appealing for the visitor there is low to no greebles to worry about, waterways have no crocodiles, there are no snakes in NZ, spiders are harmless (except for a few in super remote places) people are open and warm and the food is divine.
A favourite Maori word for today is Puku (tummy or stomach), this little or big thing depending on your engine will get a lot of use in NZ. Most likely your Puku will grow, especially when you taste the Kai Moana (seafood). The Puku will also be the thing you feel the most when your team is under threat in the 2011 RWC, the tense rugby emotions will cut right through you & your Puku is the radar.
For your ihomatua (mind) there are 5 mouth-watering pools for the next RWC. Appetizing as it is to work out where your team will be and who they will play in the quarters and the semi’s, reality though indicates that nothing seems to go to plan in a knock out event like this. So start saving, search for long lost relatives In NZ so you can crash on their couch and do yourself a huge favour and get you and your Puku to NZ. Aotearoa will host an amazing event and the test matches will spread wide & this country will embraces the game and manuhiri (people from other places) that visit her.
2011 RWC pools are:
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Tonga, Americas1, Asia1
Pool B: Argentina, England, Scotland, Europe1, Playoff winner
Pool C: Australia, Ireland, Italy, Europe2, Americas2
Pool D: South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Oceania1, Africa1