It’s 2:35pm on a Saturday afternoon. I’ve been standing in the rain in town since 1pm and now I’ve relocated to a rugby ground in the Dunedin hill suburbs. The temperature is sitting around 0, the rain has turned to snow as flurries drift across in the wind which only drops the temperature further. Kick off is only a few minutes away. At the top of the bank, which is usually full of spectators, there are only a handful of people. As the snow sweeps across the ground, match referee Logan Whitty cuts a lonely figure completing his warm-ups in solitude, battling the wind, rain and snow. Already my fingers are going numb and for reasons that even I question at times, I’ll be choosing to stand in these conditions for the next 100 minutes.
Later, as I watched the time pass, the clouds began to break and sunshine slowly started to appear through the bleak clouds until the ground was bathed in sunlight. The sunshine hung around before dropping behind the hills that surround Dunedin until eventually the ground was left in the shadows. The forecast was for rain and strong gales in expsoed places. It must be winter!