You've heard, read or seen them already, three lads in a van trucking around New Zealand over the course of the World Cup. For the remainder, Daniel, Kevin and Daniel will be keeping you all up to date on the goings on, inside and outside of the van..
Journey So Far: Daniel O'Connor
Well it all started the Wednesday after the USA game. I got a phone call from my brother in Brisbane on my way back to Auckland from a snowboarding trip, asking what my plans where for the world cup, to which i informed him i had no plans made and would be homeless as i didn't book accommodation in Auckland and everywhere was booked up or too expensive. He laughed and told me, himself and Dan, our cousin were coming over for the Australia game and that we should buy a van to solve the accommodation issue. Sound i thought and proceeded to look into buying a van.
Friday arrived and after viewing 3 or 4vans none of which i taught where worth buying, the boys landed here. It had been almost 2years since id seen either of them, neither of which had got any better looking nor matured in them 2years lol!
Found a cheap hotel room for the night with 2 single beds, we headed out for a few drinks and to watch the evening game.
Upon returning to the hotel room later that night at stupid o clock we squared up the beds and tucked ourselves in for what would be the start of some close quarter living for how ever long Ireland would be here.
Stuck between the loudest snorer in Ireland and Dan who has a habitat of chatting even more shite in his sleep than he does awake, it was a rough nights sleep, of which there has been many more so far!
Match day started early with the prime goals of securing match tickets and buying a van! We checked out the local car fair and found alot of over priced scrap and some nice vans well over our budget of 3grand, then we were out bidded on an electric blue ford van by a German, which was probably a good things as we all agreed it was a ball of shite!
With no accommodation sorted for the night and not a bed left in Auckland city, we thought we'd better pull tonight or find an all night bar!
After posting a quick note on base hostel wall looking for 3 tickets to the game later, I got the call from of all people but an aussie, we quickly meet up and purchased some fine B class ticket at half there original price, final something was going right for the day and gave of a bit of hope. My final words to the aussie fan, was you might regret selling us these tickets if we win tonight to which we both laughed about...little did we know!
With tickets in the back pocket we got ready in Base hostels bag storage room and headed down to the via duct to get a few drinks in and have the craic before the match. Before the lads even came over, the craic had already started, they had the great idea of getting 2 high vis jackets printed up with Donegal County Council written on them and a picture of a worker leaning on a shovel and scratching his head! So wearing these jackets, carrying a child plastic shovel purchased from the warehouse and a kids bob the builder hat we headed out.
We had great craic in Danny Doolins, the atmosphere was immense and the boys were attracting some attention and photo's from the travelling Irish.
We met a few aussies on the way and a few in particular with a picture of a Leprechaun bent over with a bare ass getting 'rooted' by a kangaroo. we had a laugh with them, asked them their predictions none of which favoured Ireland.
Arriving outside the stadium we were greeted with an atmosphere more accustom to lansdowne road or croke park, green every where!
We joined the biggest Irish crowd around a few musicians playing some trad music. there was a great buzz around. We watched and cheered some Irish dancer's and the lads got out in the middle of the crowd to clean up some fallen leaves and make sure it was safe to dance, to which the crowd laughed and cheered them on!
Inside we took our seats up right behind the goal to which we would be kicking into when we won the match!
We were surround by kiwi's but tonight they called themselves Irish! For everyone of them was cheering as hard as us for Irish to smash the ever some arrogant wallibies!
One such kiwi who sat in front of us, informed us that James O' Connor (no relation) looked like a gay Justin Bieber, and revelled in shouting abuse at him and Quade Cooper.
There wasn't a quiet note heard (other than the aussies who could not compete with the Irish spirit on or off the pitch) from the moment Ireland's call was sang till well into the next morning. The atmosphere was stunning and most of us where left speechless and in shock after the match with how the boys played and beat all odds....it was simply the greatest atmosphere i have ever experienced and i will look back at and say proudly we were there :)
We left the stadium and joined the crowds wandering back to the city pubs, still in a bit of shock we sang the whole way back joined in along the way was every kiwi we meet thanking us and cheering on the Irish!!
Waves of Irish streamed down queen street, singing dancing and smiling there way down to any pub which wasnt all ready full!
The three of us took photo's, video's and were part of countless other peoples memories of that night.
We soon forgot we had to bed for the night, and partied on till 7am when we returned to base hostel and found room on the floor and couches to put our heads down for a few hours.