2011 September 13
New Zealand wins RWC opener
comfortablyNew Zealand wins RWC opener
The first game of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) has been won by hosts New Zealand, overcoming Tonga 41 - 10 and demonstrating the sort of form that could see it lift the prestigious trophy.
BBC News pointed out that it has been 24 years since the All Blacks finished as victors in the tournament, but the world number ones were not troubled by their opponents on the first day of the 2011 competition.
Fans in rugby T-shirts at the 60,000-capacity Eden Park Stadium watched as New Zealand produced an emphatic first half performance. Crowds saw Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui score two tries each before Tonga responded with Kurt Morath's penalty.
The second half was less encouraging for the All Blacks, despite tries from Jeremy Kaino and Ma'a Nonu. Tonga gained more possession and was eventually rewarded with a try by Alisona Taumalolo.
According to Guardian.co.uk, the festivities on the opening day of the RWC were not restricted to the official ceremony in Eden Park - which paid tribute to Maori creation myths - as a series of flash mob hakas took place across the country.
The newspaper claimed that the trend has become an internet sensation in recent weeks, with the latest example of the craze happening on one of Auckland's main streets and bringing traffic to a standstill.
Whilst a national league in the US is still a long way off however, Melville believe it could well still happen, bringing the sport which is successful the world over to one of the few countries in which it is yet to fully take off.