NZ win won't devalue HK Bledisloe Cup game

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 September, 2008, 12:00am

The 2008 Bledisloe Cup might be safely locked up in New Zealand for one more year, but Hong Kong chief Trevor Gregory is convinced the historic encounter between the All Blacks and the Wallabies on November 1 at Hong Kong Stadium will still be a titanic encounter.

'Everything is at stake whenever a gold and a black shirt meet in rugby, or for that matter any sport,' said Gregory, chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union. 'It would have been great if the Bledisloe Cup was still alive, but even though it has been decided, it doesn't devalue the game in Hong Kong at all.'

The All Blacks defeated Australia 28-24 in Brisbane on Saturday to clinch the Tri-Nations series as well as the Bledisloe Cup. The All Blacks have won two of the three games played so far against the Wallabies this year, and as holders retain the Cup.

'It would have been a great script if the Aussies had won. It nearly worked but for that man [Dan] Carter [who scored the match-winning try for the All Blacks] who spoiled it a little bit. But I'm convinced that nothing will change when the two sides meet here.

'They are both on their way to Europe and they will want to give it their all. I have no doubt they will put on a great show,' added Gregory.

That also seems to be the sentiment of the fans who have snapped up most of the tickets for the first clash between the two teams at a neutral venue - outside of the World Cup.

'Only a handful of tickets are left. We will have a full house come November 1, and with what we have seen so far between these two teams this season, I can't wait for the action to start,' Gregory said.