Test wins in Australia by the Black Caps are pretty rare, and we don’t want to be the team that allows them to add to their list. Also pretty rare are occasions when the All Blacks Captain receives a yellow card for his persistent off-side play – but that’s another story all together.
There was an official team function today where the teams gathered to eyeball each other in the presence of local dignitaries, hangers on and glad-handlers. There are always some of them who think that current Test players are keen to hear about their exploits in C-Grade Shires 25 years ago, when all the players are really interested in is who can eat the most sandwiches. All the players apart from The Freak, of course, who has to spend his time rifling through the smoked salmon, curried egg and ham and cheese offerings to find something more accommodating to his vegan sensibilities. He cut a forlorn figure, hungry and relegated to 12th man for the game he so much wanted to play in after his great performance in the Fifth Test in England.
We did get to meet a lot of important local people – at least they seemed to think they were important. Apparently one of them was the Premier. The teams parted with some good-natured banter about the World Cups [Ed. Win some, you lose some], under arm bowling, the haka, sheep, koalas, jandles and chilly buns and returned to the team hotels to talk tactics for tomorrow. The two hour meeting could have been covered in 30 seconds: “Bowl fast, hit runs.” It’s a simple game, really.
Weather looks OK – warm with a chance of some showers – and the pitch is a green top. Bring it on!