Divine help for Arriane Christie and her partner came via an old friend who had two spare tickets to the All Blacks quarterfinal clash in Tokyo.

When the Whangārei duo left New Zealand, they didn't have tickets to the knockout matches but decided to stay in Tokyo in the hope they could lay their hands on a couple.

Her partner William Morunga's old university flatmate who he hadn't seen in 15 years came to the party and the trio were among tens of thousands of cheering AB supporters that partied late into the night on Saturday after the men in blacks' emphatic win over Ireland.

Christie said the tickets came their way, partly because the flat mate's friends who were supposed to join him at the game couldn't make it as they were expecting a baby.


In the morning leading up to the game, a few Irish jerseys were seen around Tokyo but as they moved closer to the fan zones, and then on to the stadium, it became clear the All Black supporters were going to be outnumbered.

She and Morunga watched the Australia versus England game on a giant screen outside the stadium where the ABs played.

"The atmosphere inside the stadium was truly electric, the best it has been in any game we've been to so far. It holds just under 50,000 people and I felt surrounded by green. The noise was incredible, even before kick off. There was a sense of nervousness, anticipation and pure excitement in the crowd," Christie recalled.

"The great thing about the Irish is that they sing when they're winning, but they also sing when they're losing. Admittedly, there was a period just before half time when I looked around to see the Irish supporters sitting back in their seats with arms folded and solemn looks on their faces.

"But it didn't last. Even right at the end of the game when they scored a couple of consolation tries, the Irish crowd roared."

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She said the Irish love a good time and you could see they didn't want to leave.

"Then as we eventually piled out of the stadium and back onto the trains, the singing continued, with the Irish still in full voice. I can't image I would have been quite so jolly had the All Blacks lost.


"It was a truly amazing to be able to experience that All Black quarterfinal, not just because of their incredibly clinical," she said.

Kaitaia identity and newly-elected Northland Regional Councillor Colin "Toss" Kitchen was also at the game and said the Irish disrespect for the Haka wound the ABs up.

Colin Kitchen, far right, with All Black supporters during the quarter final match at Tokyo Stadium. Photo/Supplied
Colin Kitchen, far right, with All Black supporters during the quarter final match at Tokyo Stadium. Photo/Supplied

"We were too clinical on the day and my projection for the semis is that we will be too strong and will run the big English forwards to a standstill, and our clinical young backline will produce the goods.

"One of the best AB performances I have witnessed over four decades of attending test matches. Some great banter between AB and Irish fans but at the end of the day, they were gracious in defeat. Bring on the English."