Triumphant return for Magic
Mon, 23 Jul 2012 6:13p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
Celebrations are being planned in Hamilton to mark the triumphant return of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic.
The team flew into Auckland a couple of hours ago, still waiting for their grand final win to sink in.
And there to meet them at the airport were bleary-eyed fans who had been up half the night celebrating in Melbourne and made it back to Auckland just ahead of their team.
“We were talking about the amount of sleep we've had, it's added up to about nine hours in 48 hours' sleep, so we are exhausted but oh, amazing, amazing feeling,” says fan, Barry Taame.
His daughter is back-up goal attack Jess Waitapu, who could barely have dreamed her first season would end with the trans-Tasman crown.
“They booked out a bar there and we celebrated until the early hours with the team. Amazing,” says Mr Taame.
For veteran Irene van Dyk, it was a win for her mum, who died on the day of the preliminary final.
“It's been on my mind for the whole week, [I’m] glad to be going to South Africa tomorrow,” says Van Dyk.
Only after the funeral there will she think about what comes next.
For now though, the rest of the team will be thinking about their victory, and the heart-stopping season that's seen them rise from bottom of the league to champions.
“[It’s] like as if it hasn't sunk in yet., I’m looking forward to getting a moment to ourselves to kind of sit down and be like wow,” says Laura Langman.
Tomorrow the council will release plans for a public, “Wow, well done," in Hamilton.
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