City celebrates NPC win
None of the cliches rang true. This wasn’t a game of two halves and Wellington, not rugby was the winner on the day.
After a dry patch of 14 years the Lions have brought the National Provincial Cup (NPC) back to the Capital and they paraded it though the city.
Work ceased as thousands of people, decked out in yellow and black, greeted and cheered for the Lions as they made their way from Parliament to Civic Square .
On top of three floats, rugby players signed autographs, shook hands and threw confetti at the crowd. Club mascot Leo the Lion danced in the streets and cheer-leaders and "official" supporters joined the fun.
A sea of rugby fans and those who just wanted any excuse for a party packed Civic Square. As the team entered the Square the crowd went wild. The loudest cheers were for Jonah Lomu and Tana Umanga
It was bigger than "some little yacht race held in Auckland at the beginning of the year" according to Mayor Mark Blumsky. He cheekily suggested Wellington might need a larger stadium if support for the Lions continued to grow.
Amidst a party atmosphere medals were handed out and speeches made. Captain Norm Hewitt thank the city for its support. He also farewelled Alama Ieremia who is off to play rugby in Japan.
Wellington basked in the sunshine and the glory of an NPC win. Today really was the Capital’s day.
Text and photos by Rebecca Thomson and Emma Philpott