Tank Lanning

Lessons learnt from RWC 2011

2011-10-26 16:45
Sport24 editor Tank Lanning (File)
Tank Lanning

A few vital life lessons taken from my recent trip to New Zealand to take in the quarter and semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup …

Waikenae, just north of Wellington, is dentist heaven. Pack your high pitched drills and move ...

Do not use campervans as your "out" car when playing road trip traffic in New Zealand. Allan Donald scored more runs in Test cricket than you will in this game ...

Do not take a wrong turn that takes you through "Fear factor farming country" when driving from Auckland to Wellington after 27 hours of flying ... Unless want to hear the skeletons in the closet of so called life long friends ...

In fact, do not add the nine hour drive to Wellington to any sort of flight into Auckland from South Africa ... Even the seat next to the cooler box in the campervan loses its appeal after hour 3 ...

Do not take to the bed above the driver in a campervan when on a road trip of more than 7 minutes. At best you will vomit from motion sickness worse than any seen on any sea faring craft, at worst you will die from injuries sustained from being thrown around like a Tiger Moth in a hurricane ...

Do take the double bed at the back of the van, though ... A full blog post using an iPad and a 45 minute nap renders one tremendously thirsty at the other end ... Much to the annoyance of your fellow travellers ...

If you cannot speak Afrikaans and are not dressed in green and gold from head to toe, do not take the train from Waikenae to Wellington ...

Learn about how the "other half" live at the Waikenae Sports Bar ... At worst you get cheap beer and a chat with someone who knows a lot more about rugby than Peter de Villiers ... At best you get shown a tongue and belly button ring attached to an aunty that will not be in next year's Miss World line-up that comes with an offer on how best they should be used ... On all seven of your fellow campervanners!

The Wellington rugby stadium really does look like a cake tin ...

Pack beanies, scarves and ski jackets for those in your party not watching from the enclosed press box at the Cake Tin ... Unless you really enjoy hearing how cold it was while watching the rugby for the entire train trip back to Waikenae ...

Don't wear only slip slops, shorts and a t-shirt to the Whakapapa ski resort ...

Play only with bright orange balls on the Whakapapa nine hole gorse, and pack clothing for snow, rain, wind and warm sunshine - seriously ...

If campervanning with a snorer, pack industrial earplugs, or many rotten tomatoes, or both ...

If you have a fear of pooing in public places, do not campervan ...

If in need of feeling like Peter de Villiers at a World Cup coaches meeting, turn up at a communal camp site kitchen with your steak, braai salt and a roll ... Jamie Oliver has nothing on these freaks ...

Lake Taupo, much like the rest of the country, is simply beautiful ... And you can pay a dollar a ball to try get a hole in one on a man made green 104 metres into the lake ...

Beer one at 12h00 in the Wellington Fan Zone for a 18h00 game can only end in tears ... Beer one at 12h00 at a braai at a house 42 metres from Eden Park before a 21h00 game can only end in blood ...

You can't use "Mermaid money" to buy beer at the Fan Zone ...

Britomart is indeed the central public transport hub in Auckland, and there is no need to get off a train from Eden Park to Britomart (and catch a bus downtown) simply because you have no need for shopping at a British Makro ...

You and your bank manager need to be tighter than Kobus and Toks if you are to drink beer with the Cheerful Chunkies in New Zealand ... It was $9 for a Heineken at the Wellington Fan Zone ... And we are talking 6.7 to 1 my friends ...

Speaking of beer, it's bloody hard to find a beer you like and stick to it because the pubs all stock different draft beer ... Do not ever drink Steinlager Pure though - unless you like your beer tasting like Oros ...

If in need of a good cry, stand up for the anthems at an Ireland v Wales game, or watch Jock Hobbs give Richie McCaw his 100th Test cap ...

If shaky on your anger management, do not drink beer with people dressed in yellow after watching the Boks lose to the Aussies at the Cake Tin ...

Do accept beer from those in black who believe the Boks were robbed and that the New Zealand public had been cheated out of what would have been a monumental semi-final ...

Do anything you possibly can to go to a Rugby World Cup in New Zealand ... It is a life altering trip that is worth every single cent  ...

And you thought this might be about Du Plessis v Smit or Habana v Hougaard ... Sorry

Tank is a former WP tighthead prop and now Sport24 editor and the author of the blog, Front Row Grunt.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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