Tug-O-War

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This week at Macquarie Island: 5 July 2013

The atmosphere was thick with anticipation for an event worthy of a packed stadium. One of the world’s greatest sporting rivalries was set to take place on the hallowed sands of Macquarie Island. Excitement for the annual midwinter tug–o-war between Australia and New Zealand had been building over the preceding months. The Kiwis had plenty to be confident about having won the event for two years running. They had also recruited very well with two dubious inclusions including Billy, a former top tug-o-war competitor from Wales. The Kiwis had been training hard on the hills of Macca and entered the event as the hottest of favourites.

A composed Aussie team gathered to face off against the might of New Zealand (NZ). Our plan was simple; fight for every inch and never give in. Round one was a brutal contest of pure will from both teams. After what seemed an eternity the Aussies shocked all in attendance with a victory that rocked the New Zealander’s belief. Some soul searching was done before round two and it had appeared order had been restored when the Kiwis won the bout with a textbook display in the art of the tug-o-war.

It was down to the decider, with fatigue setting in, whoever wanted it most was going to take home the prize. Aussie spirit kicked in and the team proved to be an immovable object. The only question was whether the NZ team or the rope would give way first. Fortunately it proved to be the former and so all on the island erupted in scenes of jubilation and disbelief, humbled to have witnessed the greatest upset since the Wallabies beat the All Blacks in the 2003 World Cup semi-final.

Nick (mostly out of picture) Angela, Mike and Steve (with a red and purple mohawk wig) performing the Haka. Steve is holding the tug-o-war trophy; a replica of the 'ashes' urn.
Four members of the New Zealand team performing their version of the...

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The New Zealand team huddle just before the first round - a silhouette of the faces  of Nick, Leona, Ange, Steve, Tony H and Mike taken from below
The New Zealand team huddle just before the first round

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The eight person New Zealand team in action in the first round.
The eight person New Zealand team in action in the first round.

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The eight person Aussie team struggling to overcome NZ in the first round despite the encouragement from Nancye
The eight person Aussie team struggling to overcome NZ in the first...

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The last and deciding round - The Aussie team being encouraged by Tom (who is wearing a tartan kilt)
The last and deciding round - The Aussie team being encouraged by...

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The third round - the New Zealand team loosing ground, despite the efforts of their frontman Nick
The third round - the New Zealand team loosing ground, despite the...

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The Champs - The Aussie team photo - from the left: Chris, Greg, Aaron, Tom, Josh, Karen, Craig, Dave and Nancye, holding the rope
The Champs!

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

The Prize - New Zealand team captain Billy, hands the trophy to the Australian team captain Craig
The Prize - New Zealand team captain Billy, hands the trophy to...

(Photo: Barend (Barry) Becker)

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This page was last modified on 5 July 2013.