Celebrating with a little Slice of Heaven

22:39, Jun 17 2010

When we walked out of the tunnel to play Slovakia there were some tingles and some nerves because you are playing at the World Cup.

But I (Leo) purposely tried to treat it like any other game so the nerves wouldn't get over me and I could perform. I don't know if you could hear me on the TV, but I was blaring out the anthem. I always do. It would be nice if we could do it in Maori as well, to sing the full anthem.

It was hard for me (Ben) watching it from the sidelines because you always want to play, but when Winston popped up to score it was a great moment.

The whole bench jumped up and I looked to my side and everyone was gone. I thought, if everyone's gone, I'm not staying behind. We're all chasing each other, I was chasing Jimmy Bannatyne and the manager Phil Warbrick did the 100m in two seconds flat and then did a belly slide on the concrete.

There was a little moat around the field, and we were lucky we didn't go over. But nobody really cared. We were all buzzing, especially scoring in the last minute. It's happened against us, so it is nice to be on the right side for a change.

Back in the dressing room we've got this tradition that we put David Dobbyn's Slice Of Heaven on the Ipod and we belt it out. Everyone was dancing and cheering. It was a wicked feeling to come to the World Cup and get a result.

What was also awesome was that after we all had showered, Brian Turner told us that that the White Noise supporters where still out in the stands partying. So we went out to catch up with those guys and it was such a buzz to see how much they were enjoying our draw.


Speaking to people back home we hear that we are all over TV and the newspapers which is great. The game has come a long way. Hopefully we can keep doing well in this tournament and beyond.

I keep getting emails, "Good win the other night', but we only drew the game, but that's really how it felt.

We got that belief now that we can keep it going, but we have to mindful that we got two hard games coming up. Italy are the current world champs, so we need to treat them with respect.

We hear the prime minister is coming over for the Italy game which is pretty cool. We have a lot of time for the PM. He visited Tim Brown in hospital when he had his shoulder operation. He didn't even ask him how Tim was, but just said that he'd had a rough day "the country won't leave me alone''. So Browny replied "Well, I'm having a great time here with two pins in my shoulder'. Still, it's great he's taking the time to come over and support us.

Ahead of the Italy game there is a bit of banter going on in the team because Winston was supposed to do a celebration that we had planned with the team, but he forgot all about it because he was on such a high.

We can't let it out of the bag yet, but hopefully you'll see that celebration when we score against Italy.