24 Oct 2011

Fans go wild after 24 years of hurt comes to an end

12:39 am on 24 October 2011

Packed fanzones in the main centres erupted in celebration and relief after the thousands of fans realised the All Blacks had won the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1987.

Auckland's main fanzones were packed to capacity for the final, with the biggest crowd since the opening night out and about in the city.

Authorities say more than 30,000 people were at the official waterfront wharf fanzones including Queens, Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves and Wyndard Quarter. Aotea Square was packed with several thousand more.

Some of the main inner city streets have been closed to cars because of the huge number of people who have flocked to join the party.

There was a power cut that affected bars and cafes in Kingsland, near the venue, but it did not affect Eden Park, which has its own power supply.

Roads closed include Queen Street, Quay Street and Customs Street.

An estimated 200,000 people packed the city on the tournament's opening night.

In Wellington, the waterfront fanzone which has a capacity of 3000 was full.

More than 6000 people turned out in Christchurch to watch the final with a fanzone set up in Hagley Park. The city did not host any World Cup games due to earthquake damage suffered at AMI Stadium and the infrastructure.

The police say the crowd at the fanzone was well behaved and didn't cause any problems. There were, however, two arrests for drunken behaviour.

Hospitals ready for onslaught

Auckland District Health Board says it is ready to deal with a record number of patients in the aftermath of the match.

It says it has extra staff in place and can call on neighbouring health boards if it needs assistance.

Auckland City Hospital emergency department clinical director Tim Parke says staff are gearing up for a very busy night, whether the All Blacks win or lose.

He says he expects to see an increase in cases of alcohol poisoning, road accidents, injuries and general illness.

Dr Parke says if there is a major incident he is confident his staff will step up to the challenge, despite the extra pressure on services.

He says the DHB's plan was tested months before the Rugby World Cup began.