Queenstown quiet for ABs opener


Queenstown bars were quiet for the All Blacks’ first Rugby World Cup match this morning. 

But bar baron Barry Ellis reckons there’ll be greater interest in the coming matches.

Senior sergeant Paula Enoka says there were no arrests for bad behaviour or drink-driving this morning.

That’s an excellent start as far as police are concerned, she says.

Police had rostered on extra crime prevention and road policing staff for the 3.45am game – officers visited bars to check that liquor licence requirements were being met.

At least two of the allowed to screen games in the resort didn’t open.

Pig & Whistle owner Barry Ellis says about 40 patrons turned up to watch the game.

“Monday morning’s a hard one, even if it was the All Blacks.”

He expects more interest for the All Blacks next three matches because they are screening later, at 7am or 8am.

“It will be people heading to work – they’ll have a breakfast and a coffee, watch the game and then go to work.”

He expects alcohol sales to be low for the remaining pool games, but that might change once the All Blacks get to the business end of the tournament, he says.

The government recently passed special legislation to allow bars, hotels and clubs to screen the games outside normal licensing hours. They can open one hour before matches start and must close an hour after the final whistle.