Pilots prepare for touchdown at stadium

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 October, 2010, 12:00am

When you're used to being in the pointy end of the plane with the best view, it stands to reason you want a decent seat at the Bledisloe with your mates. That's why Airbus 330 captain Darren Kefford and a posse of pilots booked a private box.

Kefford and 20 of his Australian pilot mates made sure months in advance they were not rostered on for the Bledisloe so they could touch down at the stadium. They made a day of it, lunching at Inside Out in Causeway Bay beforehand.

'It's great to see the Bledisloe Cup here again in Hong Kong,' says Kefford. 'We couldn't believe the game was coming here in 2008, but to have it here again in 2010 is fantastic. As soon as it was announced, I got on the case booking the box.'

The Brisbane-born pilot loves the off-pitch antics as much as the play.

'There's always been a great rivalry between Australia and New Zealand in any sport but rugby heightens this. Everyone is passionate about their respective teams but the Kiwis around Bledisloe Cup or especially the World Cup take it very seriously.

'They're pretty cocky about their All Blacks so you can't help sticking the boot into the Kiwis if they loose ... but it has been a while.'