Out of all the challenges on this list I knew that this one was going to be tough. With less than 12 months to go until my 30th birthday I knew I would not make it to New Zealand however when I heard New Zealand were playing Tonga at St James Park for one of their group matches for the 2015 Rugby World Cup I knew I had to try and get a ticket. Not only would it be an awesome experience to be part of the World Cup but in my opinion it would act as a worthy substitute for not travelling over to New Zealand before my 30th (and there is no doubt in my mind that I will get to New Zealand at some point in the future).
I didn’t fancy going to the match alone so I bought a ticket for my dad as a birthday gift because even though he doesn’t like the All Blacks it was the opportunity to watch some world class players and I had a suspicion that the All Blacks would end up winning the whole competition. The week before this match St James Park played host to its first world cup match between Scotland and South Africa and the city was electric. The local news reported that 200,000 fans had descended on the city to be part of the event and when I was watching the match in the fanzone at Science City there was a lot of love for both teams in the atmosphere which just made me more excited to watch the New Zealand v Tonga match. The highlight of being in the fanzone was watching the grown men attempt to play rugby after far too many beers and a man in salmon pink trousers being tackled and splitting them right in the crotch!
Getting to match day and there are only 2 words to describe it. Frickin awesome!!
The atmosphere was awesome.
The haka was really awesome.
The Tongans bringing it to the All Blacks was awesome.
Richie McCaw as water boy was awesome.
The seats were ridiculous (Me and dad even had a fleeting appearance on the telly).
All in all I think this has to be one of the best experiences on the list thus far!