Across The Ditch: Wrap Before Rugby World Cup Final + Waiheke Is Lonely Planet’s Top 5 Destinations

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EveningReport.nz’s Selwyn Manning and Australia’s radio FiveAA.com.au’s Peter Godfrey deliver their Across The Ditch bulletin. This week: Final Wrap Before Rugby World Cup Final + Waiheke Island Lonely Planet’s Top 5 Destinations – Recorded live on 29/10/15.

The All Blacks have dominated almost all media this week after securing its position in the Rugby World Cup final.

The Prime Minister John Key has become an unashamed groupie turning up in the dressing room after last weekend’s win over the Spring Boks and almost every game possible since the All Blacks won the 2011 World Cup.

He’s been schmoozing All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, and Key appears to want the man on his team. Key has also offered McCaw a knighthood on numerous occasions. To date, McCaw has turned him down on both counts.

McCaw is a bit of a hero over here, he has played in 147 All Black international games, and is still considered the best open side flanker in the world. To relax, the guy goes flying light aircraft around New Zealand’s Southern Alps!

But legends aside… This final is going to be great. If Australia win, the Wallabies will be the first team to ever win the RWC three times. If the All Blacks win, they will be the first to win the RWC three times. No other team comes close.

Since winning the World Cup in 2011, the All Blacks have won 47 games, drawn two, lost three. The most recent loss was to the Wallabies in Sydney a couple of months ago!

All this theatre makes for a great clash between these two arch rivals.

On Sunday morning, New Zealand will rise before the dawn, the country will grind to a halt as the game plays out. After the game, irrespective of the outcome, the malls will be empty, the roads bereft of vehicles. People may shuffle out for brunch at a cafe.

If the All Blacks win, all will be good and grand throughout the land. Smiles will be exchanged.

If they lose, the country will be in mourning, haunted again by those words muttered by the Wallaby captain George Gregan way back in 2003 when the All Blacks lost to Australia in the World Cup semi final. Back then Gregan said: “Four more years boys, four more years.”

ITEM TWO:
Auckland’s Waiheke Island has been awarded Lonely Planet’s fifth place in its top destinations. And we are all thrilled about that! Here’s why. (ref. NZHerald.co.nz)

Across The Ditch broadcasts live each Thursday morning on Australia’s FiveAA.com.au and webcasts on EveningReport.nz LiveNews.co.nz and ForeignAffairs.co.nz.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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