On the opening day we celebrated the big party in Auckland. On day two of the World Cup we celebrated the arrival of the minnows.
After Friday's big party - the opening ceremony - Saturday produced a day of drama on the field.
England overcame a tough challenge from Argentina in a brutal match that simply has to attract the attention of the citing commissioner - if he is doing his job.
However, Day Two was marked by the standout performances from the smaller nations - with Romania (against Scotland), Namibia (versus Fiji) and Japan (with France as opposition) all running their more esteemed opposition close ... before eventually succumbing.
It started in the far south, in Invercargill, where Romania provided some nervous moments for their Celtic opposition, as their forwards destroyed Scotland's scrum for Dan Carpo to crash over and help his side take the lead with just six minutes remaining.
However, wing Simon Danielli broke a two-year international drought to score two late tries for the Scots to give them a 34-24 victory.
"We were a bit shell-shocked to find ourselves in that position," Danielli said. "I was thinking, 'we can't lose this game, we're not going to lose this game'."
In the next game, in Rotorua, Namibia also gave Fiji a wake-up call - despite four tries from wing Vereniki Goneva.
Three early drop-goals by Namibian flyhalf Theuns Kotze, a Varsity Cup star for the University of Johannesburg, gave the men from the Southwestern point of Africa a lead inside the first quarter.
However, the pace and power of the Fijians - which saw Goneva score four tries - ensured the South Pacific islanders won the game.
"This is the first time I've scored four tries. It's an honour and a privilege," Goneva told reporters.
Later Japan also almost produced a huge upset in Albany, when they drew to within four points of Pool A heavyweights France late in the second half before Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape and Morgan Parra scored tries in the final 10 minutes to put a gloss on the scoreline.
"Well done to the Japanese they have played very well," France coach Marc Lievremont told reporters after their 47-21 victory.
Then came the first real clash of the heavyweights at New Zealand 2011 - in the new stadium in Dunedin.
The 2003 World Cup winners, England, needed a late try from replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs to eke out a 13-9 victory over Argentina in a brutal encounter that is likely to be the pool decider.
England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson and Argentina fullback Martin Rodriguez, who took over the goal-kicking from injured captain Felipe Contepomi, missed five shots at goal each.
"I probably aged about 20 years, but we said that before we came here that's what World Cups are about ... you will be in a game that isn't going your way ... and you have to find a way to win and we did," England manager Martin Johnson said in a televised interview.
Personalised coffee for Bok skipper
South African captain John Smit found out that in New Zealand you can get personalised coffee!
"This is how they serve you a coffee in Wellington!!!Strange thing is more people here in NZ know I'm a Smit & not Smith!," the Bok skipper said on the social network Twitter, posting a picture of his personalised cuppa.
John Smit new avatar!
Laugh of the day:
Scotland fullback Chris Paterson managed to 'grubber' the ball to the posts after attempting a penalty kick. Just as he started his swing through, the ball fell off the kicking tee and a bemused Paterson managed to propel the ball forward without it going airborne.
Dummy of the day:
Namibian lock Heinz Koll went over for a delightful score after sending several Fijian defenders in the wrong direction and then charging ahead for his team's second try in an entertaining match of eight tries. His team may not have won, but they won over many new admirers.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans launched into his Italy counterpart Nick Mallett tagging him the "master of pre-match mind games" ahead of their Sunday World Cup opener at North Harbour.
Mallett has claimed the Wallabies are the form team following Australia's Tri-Nations triumph and the Reds' Super Rugby victory this year and his Azzurri will be concentrating on beating other Pool C opponents.
Deans smiled when his comments was brought up at Saturday's press conference and fired: "Nick's the master of pre-match mind games.
"He said something similar, probably even more provocative, when we were in Italy last year and the encounter was anything but that (one-sided)."
Auckland transport authorities were scrambling Saturday to urgently rectify the problems that saw many people miss the opening celebrations at the Rugby World Cup.
But they can be thankful All Blacks regular No.8 Kieran Read was not playing or they would have to appease one mum more irate than the rest.
Read's mother missed the opening ceremony and the first half of the All Blacks game against Tonga as she tried to reach Eden Park with tens of thousands of others on a train service that could not cope.
Artist lays down Haka challenge
Rugby fans used to seeing teams such as New Zealand and Tonga perform a haka before kick-off can get a new take on the ceremonial war dance if they visit the Haka Peep Show in the Octagon, central Dunedin.
The artwork, in the shape of a deodorant can of a brand connected to the All Blacks, houses 3D video artworks featuring four haka performed by Maori the public could view like a peepshow, with potential observers needing to insert a coin to watch the performances.
"The artwork considers the sexualisation and commodification of Maori and indigenous sportsmen through the use and exploitation of their masculinity and their culture in the media," artist Rachael Rakena told the Otago Daily Times.
Tough on Tongans
Tonga may have rocked the All Black scrum in the second half of 10-41 loss in the World Cup opener but they got short shrift from Auckland's New Zealand Herald newspaper.
Showing no mercy, the paper's reporter at the match commented: "The Tongans were impossible to miss in the streets of Auckland but they didn't turn up for the opening World Cup match at Eden Park.
"There was no sea of red inside the ground and their team parted like the Red Sea when the All Blacks spread the ball wide.
"After a stirring opening ceremony, the match itself fell flat so quickly that we got the first Mexican Wave of the tournament at the 24-minute mark."
Clip of the Day!
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