Shhh! Just between you and me, Ned’s on a secret mission to the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying that Shag is involved, but let’s just say that it involves secret caches of Maketu Pies behind enemy lines. To cover my undercover moments, I’ve selected a few choice moments from the Road To Redemption.
Originally published 26 October 2011
We had great seats for the Final: behind the eastern goal line, in the first row of the second tier. Tony Woodcock ran straight at me for his try, Dusautoir just to my right for his.
We made the 4.25pm ferry from Bayswater with two minutes to spare in typical Davy fashion. And then smash into the chaos of downtown Auckland.
The walk up the fan trail was a blistering noise of apprehension.
Beautiful to walk through the surreal art in the often missed Myers Park, up the steps to St Kevin’s Arcade, along K Road, across the motorway down Bond Street, for the first glimpse of the Park.
The crowd was buzzed, searching for anything to join. The star turn was a volunteer on his tennis umpire’s chair giving sing-song directions to the gates, with a scrum in front joining in as chorus: “A to the right, E to the left, C and D straight ahead”.
We were well early, so we did a turn around the Park before going in. Saw the team buses arriving.
Straight in no problems, grab the four Heinies, up to the seats. Woo hoo!
Soak it up for an hour, watching the stands fill, the Army band being very cool, the warm-ups, Ted stalking the grass.
The French response to the haka, an arrow formed on their captain and then swinging up and walking up to the challenge, roiled the blood.
Tight, tight, tight.
It was the 74th minute when I realised that we were going to have to play for time rather than seek more points. I turned around to our stand and saw half the folk pinned to their seats in consternation. And I screamed at them then, waved them up urgently, stomped my feet and demanded that we all bring the boys home on a wave of incessant Black.
That last penalty I threw up my arms, and then … then … felt a strange lightness of being. A great weight of apprehension had fallen out of me, and I would have floated away if I hadn’t fallen to my seat.
BrotherPhil and BrotherDoug and TaranakiTwelveFingers and I joined in a man hug of exhausted satifaction.