New Zealand Consulate-General Hong Kong
New Zealanders Celebrate Rugby World Cup in Hong Kong
The six-week Rugby World Cup 2011 tournament ended with a bang for New Zealand when the All Blacks won with a nail-biting 8-7 victory over France on 23 October. The victory set off a series of celebrations across New Zealand and jubilation among the All Black fans who gathered on the grass of Cyberport in Hong Kong to watch the match on the big screen.
Among the crowd were guests of the New Zealand Consulate -General and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise who joined some 500 people- young and old - for the outdoor screening organised by the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. New Zealand food and beverages were served by Le Meridien and Hong Kong turned on a brilliant day. With the win secured the crowd went wild and a group jumped to the stage to perform an impromptu haka for a relieved crowd of New Zealanders and some disappointed, but proud, French fans.
New Zealand's stadium of four million played a huge role in the success of the tournament, against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment and the tragic Christchurch earthquake. Ticket revenue totalling NZ$268.7 million exceeds the target set by RWC2011, and eclipses by more than 11 times the previous largest-grossing event in New Zealand history, the 2005 British and Irish Lions. Head of world rugby Bernard Lapasset described New Zealand's hosting as "extraordinary".
Rugby World Cup Minister Mr Murray McCully concluded, “It has been a wonderful celebration of New Zealand and proof that this small country can successfully hold a large and complex event like a Rugby World Cup. We could not have wished for a better platform to promote ourselves to the world".