Battered city passes another huge test

Last updated 05:00 17/06/2012

Related Links

All Blacks squeak home against Ireland

Relevant offers

National News

4WDers use jet boat, winches to pull stricken truck from Waimakariri River Trio rescued from Tararua Forest Park John Key's plane is grounded in Australia until a replacement plane arrives to head on to India Dramatic sea rescue off the coast of Waitara forms special bond Fatal crash near Wallacetown in Southland Dairy in Porirua held up with sawn-off rifle Free trade agreement with India won't happen overnight but John Key says it's crucial to get there Car carrying four people hits cow in the Waikato Suspected spinal injury after fall inside shed in Bay of Plenty Travellers share their best New Zealand fine dining picks in TripAdvisor awards

Rugby-starved Cantabrians celebrated the end to a two-year All Black test drought last night.

A sellout crowd of 21,000 forgot the earthquakes, the snow, the storms, and the loss of the 2011 World Cup games, packing bars before swarming into the new AMI Stadium to see the All Blacks win their second test against Ireland 22 -19, in the city's first international test since August 2010, when the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 20-10 at the old, now quake-damaged AMI Stadium.

Yesterday, some of the city's old buzz returned ahead of the game, with Irish and New Zealand fans descending on the city to support not only the All Blacks, but Christchurch.

Wellingtonian Leighton Jones said a group of five friends, a mix of Dubliners and Kiwis, had flown to Christchurch to "get a taste" of what test match rugby was like after a two-year drought.

They warmed up at The Craic bar in Riccarton, crammed shoulder to shoulder with other fans. "It's such a great boost for Christchurch, after not having had a test for two years."

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said that in the midst of what had been a hard time, the test "meant the earth" to rugby fans.

"It's been more than 600-odd days since we have had a test played in the city, so it's sensational.

"The rugby community is buzzing, people are talking about the game, the stadium and the future, and not talking about all the stuff that weighs us down day after day."

Christchurch Stadium Trust chairman Sir John Hansen said the test was a "giant step" back to normality. "The opening night Crusaders game in March was very emotional, and since then it's been full up, but I don't think any of that matched the excitement when the crowd saw the All Blacks run out last night."

Ad Feedback

- Sunday Star Times

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content