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Eagles sore, but remain undeterred by loss

Sep 24th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Multimedia, News

AUSTRALIA delivered a resounding 67-5 win over the United States Eagles yesterday, but American fans were largely undeterred by the result.

Colourful face-painting, Uncle Sam costumes and every variation on the theme of “red, white and blue” took over Wellington as US nationals supported their rugby team, often for the first time.

Australian rugby fans took a more laid-back approach to cheering and waving.

“That’s the kind of retarded thing Americans do,” says a Wallabies supporter.

New Zealanders were out in force supporting both sides, some drawn to the Americans as underdog, while others proclaimed trans-Tasman loyalty.

Gibson Security’s Mike Wallace says the influx of excited fans was mostly law-abiding.

“Everyone’s happy, everyone’s in tourist mode. There’s no aggression,” he says.

“The police are doing a great job with any aggression. It’s just wiped out straight away.”

Wellington Police Inspector Simon Perry says there were four arrests and 12 evictions from the stadium yesterday.

“Most of these incidents were simply cases of people over-indulging in too much alcohol, spoiling it for the majority of fans who were really well-behaved.”

Four Kings bouncer Clint Faoi says Wellington city handled the Rugby World Cup visitors effectively.

“I think we handled it better than bloody Auckland,” he says.

Taxi driver Dinku Mannely says Auckland has got all the good games for the Rugby World Cup, with Wellington left to handle the less-important matches.

He says it may have been better to have some bigger matches in Wellington.

“We are Wellingtonians and we have a lot of good, big events and a lot of experience handling the crowds.”

American tourist Carlos Meza (pictured, right) is a newbie to the game, but he’s more than happy to support the US Eagles while he’s in New Zealand.

“I didn’t even know we had a team,” he says.

Since he arrived about a week ago Mr Meza has been watching a lot of rugby with his friends and figuring out the rules.

“It’s much better than [American] football. The games are shorter.”



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