Made it. Just took me longer to work out this French keyboard than it did for the All Blacks to score against Italy.
Aix en Provence, where we are staying, is a gorgeous small town about 35 mins on a train from Marseille, but since UK Train Company Management Techniques must have spread to France, its suddenly a 60 min bus ride.
Marseille awoke yesterday to a swarm of Black clad drinkers; the Vieux Port was heaving with Kiwis, and AB fans from other countries ... French, Italian, even 3 Dutch guys Junior met who had driven through the night from Holland to get here.
The main roundabout in the centre of town was decked out in a double life size Wicker Man XV doing a haka. At this stage we are unsure whether they torched an Edward (Clive) Woodward effige in it, but nevertheless it was pounced upon by snap happy Kiwis in the thousands;
Pleased to say that our seats in the expensive package were worth the extra dosh: 10 metre line about 4 to 5 rows back. Fi was convinced she could see Dougies VPL when he was stretching. The crowd was at first pro NZ, but I think many French began to whistle us and felt sorry for the Azzuri ... just in sympathy, not anything bad. The reaction the Italian tries got was very loud.
All up, a good atmosphere, and a good game. Not tense or a classic because nothing was really at stake yet, but Richie, Howlett, Leon M and the Locks looked in top nick. And no one got hurt.
Play of the day: J Collins, chip and chase. Just the sort of thing that winds up the purists at The Times ... forwards playing like backs.
Worrying: Luke M and his Spencer tendencies. Give me Evans as the backup 10 please. And Toeava needs to be more confident, it looked like he was afraid to take that try off Howlett.
Atmosphere here is great. The French are warming up to this big time, even after their hiccup against the Pumas, they have to stay in this ... no host would be bad.
Five days of holiday now before the Lyon game. Not missing London at all. It is awesomely sunny here, and the food is incredible. And the wine is very, very cheap.