Photo courtesy of the Australian Defence Force
The usual comradeship between the Australian (ADF) and New Zealand Defence Forces (NZDF) will go on hold this weekend as deployed personnel from both nations watch the All Blacks take on the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup final.
NZDF personnel deployed all over the world will be tuning in to watch the final. Personnel in Bahrain, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, and South Sudan will be watching from the homes of expatriates, following scores on the internet or watching on satellite TV.
Perhaps the most anxious final viewing will be on the Building Partner Capacity Mission at Taji military camp where the ADF and NZDF Task Group are deployed.
“I didn’t expect to be watching an Australian and New Zealand final on deployment in Iraq surrounded by Kiwis,” said Captain Matthew Daniell from the Australian Defence Force.
“We’ve formed some close relationships with the Kiwis during this trip, which has resulted in a friendly sporting rivalry between the two forces.
“The result will more than likely mean some really awkward moments afterwards because national pride is on the line, but it will all be in good spirits,” he said.
The Ship’s Company of HMNZS TE KAHA will also be watching the final alongside Australians. She will be berthed at Sydney’s Fleet Base East and many of the crew will take the opportunity to watch the game ashore alongside Wallabies supporters.
The game will also be screening on board.
“The feeling on board HMNZS TE KAHA about the final is one of confidence; we’re backing the All Blacks.
Everyone on board has been planning where they will watch it from, whether that is ashore or on Ship,” said Sub Lieutenant Stephen Knowles.
Our own Defence Blacks rugby team will be in London to watch the final after placing 4th today against the French in the International Defence Rugby Cup.