I can't say I enjoyed the final - it was too tense for that. Things didn't go according to the script at all. Something must have been wrong with Piri Weepu - he would have struggled to hit a barn door from ten feet - and when Aaron Cruden had to go off I knew we were in for a nail-biting evening. Then up stepped Stephen Donald (who had never played in a World Cup match before!) to kick his penalty two inches inside the upright. The French played an absolute blinder and scored almost immediately after; the All Blacks somehow clung on to their single-point advantage for the next half-hour. The match could so easily have slipped from their grasp but considering how well they played throughout the tournament, they deserved the win. I was hugely impressed with the French for how graciously they handled such a close loss after being the better side in the second half. Dusautoir was a worthy man-of-the-match. As for the IRB fining the French team for their challenge to the Haka, that's serious overkill but perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.
Overall the tournament has been a real success, helped greatly by Kiwis' passion for rugby, their willingness to get behind some of the smaller teams, and the Pacific Island population who supported their teams with such fervour. On one of my lunch breaks I almost got crushed in a Samoan sandwich in the central city. My only regret from the final is missing out on some betting opportunities with the TAB. I haven't bet on sports for years, and would really think twice before betting on a sport like rugby where my knowledge is pretty sketchy. But $3.80 on a close All Black win - by twelve points or less - looked overpriced to me. Another one that stood out was a "race to ten points". The ABs were clear favourites to reach ten points before France did. However the third possibility - that neither side would ever get to double figures - paid a whopping $50.
Good news - I got my lease extended until 18th February. Tomorrow I'll be taking a look at a flat in Mount Cook.
Last night I spoke to my brother - he's currently based in Poole on the south coast but has just bough a one-bedroom apartment in St Ives, where we grew up.