Monday, 24 October 2011

Rugby World Cup Final in Riyadh

We've just got home from watching the Rugby World Cup Final at the New Zealand Embassy here in Riyadh.  It was a great night.

Congrats to the Boys in Black, their coaching team and everyone invovled in getting them that one point win.  Talk about make us sweat!!

Hats off to the French who gave everything in this game.  They were worthy RWC finalists, contrary to what news reports wanted you to believe in days prior.  (We have spent a fair bit of time from our Saudi located couch slagging the media for their rather negative reporting about many things to do with the RWC). 

Many thanks to the folks at the NZ Embassy for allowing Kiwi expats, French expats and rugby mad expats from other nations who are currently based in Riyadh, the opportunity to come and watch some of the AB games on the big screen.

Putting these events on for we expats is, I've been told, not actually part of the embassy job description - they do it out of the goodness of their hearts and the knowledge that life here, away from friends, family and normalcy, isn't always rosy.

Our Ambassador and his staff give a great deal of thought to how best to assist Kiwi's who live in this region and promote New Zealand to other nations.  Our country's reputation is at stake should their decision not be carefully considered.  In this case they concluded that, regardless of whether or not the AB's  made the finals, as NZ is the host country of the RWC, our little embassy should extend Kiwi hospitality to rugby fans, and interested Saudi's, here in the desert.

They have done a great job. 
As one of those without access to Orbit, Hubby and I are extremely grateful.

There were a lot of expats at the embassy tonight.  Many had deliberately stayed away from any news of the game which was played in NZ earlier in the day.  Saturday in Saudi is a work day....access to Orbit to watch the rugby live while at work is not possible for many expats here.  Those who could watch the game live, kept mum about the result.

I would have pictures of the New Zealand Embassy occassion but mobile phones and cameras are not allowed on the embassy grounds.  The RWC ice sculpture of a Silver Fern, a Kiwi and the Web Ellis Trophy, was beautiful and kindly provided by Al Khozarma Hotel, as was the celebratory cake for dessert.  Eric, the GM of the hotel, is an absolute gem and a great supporter of the NZ Embassy.  He's also an excellent chef so it goes without saying the food at the Al Khozarma restaurants is outstanding.

Reports from whanau back home say that NZ put on a wonderful rugby tournament, with folks getting behind all the teams who came to town, while national fervour and excitement of the AB's in the final built to fever pitch with All Black flags waving from homes, cars and babes in pushchairs.  (A few All Black flags even made it the embassy tonight).

The whanau back home planned all things around this final.  The Piri Mokena Tournament (otherwise known as Marae Wars) held every Labour Weekend in Kaeo finished in time for folks to settle in front of their tellies to watch how the big boys play.  Mum gave me updates on Facebook.  Patunga didn't make the final this year :(

It would have been nice to be at home enjoying the celebrations of the All Black win, but life has brought us to the other side of the globe, so it's comforting that we have a place where we can join fellow countrymen and women to support and enjoy events like the Rugby World Cup final, here in Saudi Arabia.

Ka Kite


No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a few thoughts on this post. I would love to hear them.

If You Liked This Post Share It With Friends

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...