Bay of Plenty rugby fans came out in force to watch the All Blacks win their first Rugby World Cup 2019 game against South Africa in Yokohama on Saturday night.

Cornerstone Bar and Eatery Tauranga owner Taute Tocker said the venue had a full house for the live game and people were in a good mood.

"As soon as the All Blacks scored there was a loud roar, it was brilliant - great atmosphere."

Ambrosia bartender Sione Ma'Afu and general manager Anne-Marie Kemplay celebrating the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Andrew Warner
Ambrosia bartender Sione Ma'Afu and general manager Anne-Marie Kemplay celebrating the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Andrew Warner

Rotorua's Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar general manager Anne-Marie Kemplay said it was an awesome night and rugby games always attracted great crowds.

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She said the bar had been pretty busy all evening with quite a few people watching the earlier Rugby World Cup games, too.

"It was an awesome crowd, as the rugby supporters normally are. Everyone was having a great time and behaving themselves."

What an awesome night kicking off the Rugby World Cup 2019, thanks for coming down! We'll be upgrading to an even bigger screen in a few weeks, watch this space...

Posted by Ambrosia Restaurant and Bar on Saturday, 21 September 2019

Rosie O'Gradys Irish Pub, Mount Maunganui, manager Harry Talbot said the pub was pretty full during the All Blacks game.

"People were having a good time and the All Blacks won... it was a great night."

He said they used a Sky TV package and that worked perfectly with no interruptions.

Rotorua's Hennessy's Irish Bar owner Reg Hennessy said between the three games on Saturday the bar had well over 400 people through.

"The atmosphere was absolutely wonderful, and there were lots of South Africans showing their colours."

He said everyone who came to watch the games were well-behaved, and it was loud and noisy, including some cheering - "They were just here to enjoy themselves".

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Rotorua Daily Post and Bay of Plenty Times readers shared their thoughts about the match on Facebook.

"Not too bad at all for the first game," said one reader, with other lauding the All Blacks' counter-attacking prowess and Beauden Barrett's performance.

Some were celebrating with caution: "My first thoughts were don't count your eggs before they hatch, stay humble."

The All Blacks' next game will be on Wednesday against Canada.