Niall would be spending the week in New Zealand whilst I would be back in Brisbane. The thought behind this has been that we were trying to get jobs and I was hoping to have had a job for the week we got back from Fiji and so I wouldn’t be able to then take a week off to go on a Lions tour. As it turned out, I had only got a couple of days work for that week and my new job wasn’t starting until the week after but by then it was too late to be going to the games and it would have cost a lot to change my flights – oh well, we could manage a week apart even if it was the first time we hadn’t been together for a day in around eight and a half months!
I got back on Sunday afternoon (25th June) and spent the rest of the day napping until the evening when I went out with our friends in the hostel. It was a really fun night at a club in Fortitude Valley (probably Brisbane’s version of Jesmond) and I was then up to watch the sunrise talking on the phone to people at home – I tell you this as the sky was very pretty!
The rest of my week was pretty relaxed. For the first few days I didn’t do that much which did let me catch up on some much needed sleep. On Wednesday and Thursday I had work at a property company called Kokoda. Here I was working for their in-house legal team (LNG Legal) helping them with filing ready for a new lawyer starting work in a few weeks time. The work was simple and repetitive but I didn’t mind it and I was happy to be back working again! My week wasn’t bad but certainly wasn’t anything exciting, especially compared to the week Niall was having in New Zealand.
Niall spent another couple of nights in Auckland which didn’t involve doing very much – I think he also had some sleep to catch up on so doing nothing was welcomed. He then got a night bus to Wellington ready for the mid-week rugby match of the Lions against the Hurricanes (the Wellington team). Two of our friends from the Kiwi Experience, Keith and Padraig, live in Wellington and so Niall was able to meet up with them a few times during his time there.
Niall had a great time at both the rugby games in Wellington and even got to see the Lions win the 2nd test match! He was with Sophie and Dan for this game and had a great time catching up with them before and after the game. It was great that Niall had been able to stay for so many of the games. We had wanted to get to the tour before we even came out to Australia and we had thought we wouldn’t be able to get tickets so Niall getting to see three games is way more than we expected!
Since we had got Lions tickets quite last minute, we had already booked to go to the Manny Pacquioa v Jeff Horn boxing fight dubbed the ‘Battle of Brisbane‘. It pitted the famous Pacquioa against the relatively new boxer Horn. This was actually the largest boxing event in Australian history and was huge to be hosted in Brisbane. Niall had to get a very early flight – I don’t think he got more than a couple of hours sleep – to get back to Brisbane in time for the fight which started at around 11am (on 2nd July 2017).
There were a series of fights before the main event. All of the fights were good, but please note that these were the first boxing matches I’d ever seen so I am only going on my own experience of what a good boxing fight was. We got to see:
- a middleweight fight: Shane Mosley Jnr from the USA and David Toussant from Ireland – Toussant won);
- a super bantamweight fight: Michael Conlan from Ireland and Jarrett Owen from Australia – Michael Conlan won; and
- A super flyweight fight: Teiru Kinoshita from Japan and Jerwin Ancajas from the Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas won.
The Pacquioa fight lasted the full 12 rounds. It’s incredible because Pacquioa is a politician in the Phillipines and then also does boxing fights around the world. Horn won which was a massive upset, but there was a lot of controversy in this as most people believed that Pacquioa had come off stronger – based on contact and punches etc.
I’m glad we got to go and see it as it was a big boxing match and it was nice to be able to add anther sport onto my list of new sports I’ve seen during this trip! It was also nice to be reunited with Niall even if he was exhausted having had only a couple of hours of sleep over the last couple of days!
Sending Love x