Twenty years ago I sat at Eden Park in Auckland and watched New Zealand win the first ever rugby world cup. At the time I didn't appreciate what would become the enormity of the event over the next twenty years.
Last year I took Scott Guthrie and Rowan Simpson on an Eden Park vigil to see the AB's destroy the Wallaby's. And recently at a company kick off we heard from the NZRU on how they went about winning the hosting rights for the 2011 RWC in New Zealand. You can hear about that yourself by attending the partner conference in Auckland this month.
Last month the herald published the numbers for the event in France.
Approximately 4 billion people will watch some of the 2007 World Cup, according to corporate events organiser Sports World and 2.4 million tickets have been sold!
I watched a lot of the opening games over the weekend... I predicted that Argentina would trump France (I thought they would also beat Australia in the opener of the last world cup)... but I didn't quite expect the complete dominance of the AB's, Wallaby's and South Africans and the downright awful performances of England, Ireland and Wales in the opening stages of their games against USA, Namibia and Canada respectively.
In the coming days the All Blacks will be releasing a Silverlight 1.0 mini application to help AB fans track the world cup matches from here on in (all the way to winning the final ;)
Why did Jay, Niall and the Mabode team choose to do this in Silverlight 1.0? Well a few reasons really...
1) Silverlight 1.0 is now released and ready for prime time
2) The UI looks Hot and the gadget is small to download (570kb all up)
2) It plays well as a Gadget technology in Vista
3) You get the added bonus of a browser based version that runs cross platform
Keep an eye on allblacks.com later this week (I'll post an update link when it is live) so that you can track the AB's in France over the coming weeks!
In the meantime take a look at this little screencast I made of the gadget in use that I recorded and put up on Silverlight Streaming this morning.
It is also good to see that the alternative rugby commentary and Inky is back as well.