Last night the final test was played at Carisbrook in Dunedin.
Set in the heart of South Dunedin, Carisbrook; “the mighty Brook”, more recently known as the “House of Pain”, has been an iconic rugby venue in New Zealand. The first international rugby match played at Carisbrook was Otago vs NSW, on September 11 1886.
The first rugby test match was played in 1908, where the All Blacks beat the Anglo-Welsh 32 to 5 in front of 23,000 people. The last test, All Blacks vs Wales was played last night in front of 30,000. The All Blacks won resoundingly 42 to 9.
Carisbrook got its name from a stream that flowed through the Dunedin property of the first superintendent of Otago, James Macandrew, who honeymooned at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight.
From 1874, the ground was first used by the Carisbrook Cricket Club, but in 1886 started sharing the ground with Pirates Rugby Club. Pirates still exists.
Carisbrook is being replaced with a new stadium situated on the other side of the city.
Its future is uncertain but there’s currently a community consultation process in place. When I stood for parliament I said it was essential that the people of South Dunedin and Caversham had a say in what happened to their iconic ground.
Last night was pretty emotional. After the match, the Terraces stayed full for ages as people couldn’t bear to leave the ground. You could feel the sadness and the pride and the history.
Today, a taxi driver told me that the players are going to really miss the Brook because of the amazing connection they felt with the people on the Terraces. It’s truly the end of an era, said Cuddy.
I got to stand on the hallowed turf last night. I felt proud to be South D.