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Pool A - Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Tonga

James

Cricket Web Owner
9 September 2011
20:30 New Zealand v Tonga Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

10 September 2011
18:00 France v Japan North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

14 September 2011
17:00 Tonga v Canada Northland Events Centre, Whangarei
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

16 September 2011
20:00 New Zealand v Japan Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

18 September 2011
20:30 France v Canada McLean Park, Napier
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

21 September 2011
19:30 Tonga v Japan Northland Events Centre, Whangarei
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)

24 September 2011
20:30 New Zealand v France Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

27 September 2011
17:00 Canada v Japan McLean Park, Napier
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

1 October 2011
18:00 France v Tonga Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

2 October 2011
15:30 New Zealand v Canada Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
 

Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
Sadly, I won't be in NZ for most of the All Blacks' games. Will watch the NZ v Tonga game for sure - just working out plans for the others...
 

Chubb

International Debutant
Will be at NZ-Tonga.

North Otago, where I worked until recently, have a lot of Tongans in their side. Kilifi Fangupo is quality first five who should be in the Tonga team but they are a bit of a mickey mouse outfit and ignore players like him.
 

Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
Big T? Not sure. Unless you mean your former colleague Dan, who I see is leaving. And no, he was on work experience for a couple of weeks when I was there, but that's it.

Barry was involved with the Valley rugby club when i was there, but largely on the periphery.

I think Kilifi injured himself a couple of weeks ago too - not sure how badly though.
 

Chubb

International Debutant
Big T? Not sure. Unless you mean your former colleague Dan, who I see is leaving. And no, he was on work experience for a couple of weeks when I was there, but that's it.

Barry was involved with the Valley rugby club when i was there, but largely on the periphery.

I think Kilifi injured himself a couple of weeks ago too - not sure how badly though.
Meant Tevita Fifita, the number 8. Probs only work who called him "Big T" actually, never heard anyone else call him that.

Kilifi had some injury problems during the club season too.
 
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Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
"Big T" was still overseas playing when I was in Oamaru, I think - they had Joe Mamea at number 8 during my two years there.
 

Johnners

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Is Piri Weepu the best Hakaist ever? Bloke looks so intense - genuinely intimidating imo
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Great showing from Sona Taumololo. Was a real standout for the 20 minutes he was on.

Kaino very strong for the All Blacks. Kahui and Sonny Bill looked good. Thorn, Cowan and Ali Williams were below par, I thought.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
Really clinical first half, and then Tonga just held the ball for the Second (mostly).

Think Tonga faired alot better than most people would have thought - myself included. The Tab here was giving them a 60 point start!
 

_Ed_

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Probably safe to say we're not peaking in the pool stage this time. Some room for improvement there. But it was an impressive first half. Kahui was excellent.

The opening ceremony was fantastic.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Firstly, I thought the fireworks were great.

Ok now my complaints. I thought the Queens Wharf/Quay Street gathering to watch the match on big screens, the haka, performers, etc. was a great idea on paper, but even I was questioning how they were going to fit such large crowd numbers into what is a relatively small area. I actually was wondering on the day why Aotea Square, Albert Park, or even out by Albany or Mt. Smart Stadium there weren't other big screens to disperse some of the crowd numbers. I didn't get there early enough to get into Queens Wharf - apparently the 12,000 capacity was reached by 3.20pm - and so had to settle for the action on big screens on Quay Street. I hardly saw anything from 4-5pm and with only Dave Dobyn and the Finn brothers performances before 7.30pm went to get some dinner. I returned at around 7pm and had a reasonable though not brilliant position on Quay Street. Saw most of the opening ceremony and had a good view of the fireworks over the harbour. Thought was transpired after that was absolutely ridiculous.

I don't possess the physique of SBW but I'm not what you'd call tiny. I honestly was scared with the amount of pushing and crowd movement. Almost got trampled on and nearly had my cap knocked off about three times. The AB flag I had acquired got bent in half. Seriously, at least where I was positioned, it was like a mosh pit at a concert, but from my perspective anyway far more dangerous. The cafes on Quay Street still had chairs and tables out, and glass railings. At that point (less than 5 minutes into the match) I decided that the best option was to leave the area and find a bar to watch the game in. It took about another 5 minutes to actually get off Quay Street, which involved basically getting driven into an icecream store, before being able to do so. It was an absolute joke. I really fear for the people that decided to bring children along - it was hard enough to look after myself so for parents with younger children to care for, I can't imagine how scary it might've been if they were in the same position as I was.

I also hear that the trains broke down and were delayed by up to an hour. Absolutely typical. All while Len Brown arrives at Eden Park via car. Speaking of cars, it was unbelievable that more roads weren't closed. I hear that people were hit by a bus, and I'm not surprised. In fact I'm a little shocked more people weren't hit by vehicles. People were walking down streets not closed off from vehicles as if they owned the place. I bet we'll be hearing of the amazing fireworks and fancy lighting show, but really I think these sorts of issues should be highlighted. Queen Street (and I assume Quay Street) were also disgusting by the end of the night - New Zealand clean and green, yeah right. Be interesting to hear what Ed has to say.

As for the match itself, I missed the opening 25 minutes (although I have the build-up and match recorded so I'll catch up eventually). Dagg looked good and went some way to confirming my prediction that he'll be one of the stars of the tournament. Thought Tonga contained us well in the second half, and I question why Taumalolo didn't start - he was very impressive after coming from the bench. Hoping that Fotuali'i can have just as big an impact in helping Samoa achieve some good results throughout the tournament.
 

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