When there's a World Cup quarter-final on and the hotel TV offers no cricket on TV, the solution is a sports bar. When New Zealand is playing anything anywhere, finding a watering hole where expat New Zealanders gather is the best location of choice. A Kiwi bar on Saturday afternoon it had to be.
In Sydney, the Harlequin Inn in Pyrmont, named after a famous England squad, prides itself on being a rugby pub. There's a jumbo rugby ball at the entrance, and while not a specifically defined Kiwi magnet, it is the place where the expats pack the floors for All Blacks games.
Naturally, when the new, improved and cult-status-acquiring Black Caps 2015 are playing in the World Cup quarter-final at home, the hordes are bound to gather at Harlequin.
The man on the phone is polite: yes, the cricket will be on one of Harlequin's many TVs, and reckons around 20 could gather.
At first count it is four, two groups of them on two separate floors. As Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles lash into the New Zealand bowling in pursuit of 393, another group gathers into a small phalanx of encircled armchairs in front of the giant screen showing the cricket. The chatter relates to some Five Nations fixtures later that night, trying to get their head around Martin Guptill's batting, and between that, key questions: "From where have these guys turned up? Where have they been all these years?" The guys in question being Boult and Southee.
It is comforting to have the biggest screen in one section of a rugby pub showing the cricket. No one is wearing a cricket jersey and there are framed All Blacks shirts on the walls. Large packets of chips have been emptied out and glasses are being replaced at respectable speeds. The armchairs have turned this public gathering into a private corner of someone's living room. Like the Kiwis say, with their unparalleled love of incomplete similes: sweet as. As whatever you like, basically.
After about an hour, reality. Two men turn up in red Crusaders shirts and chunter about the cricket on the big screen. "This is a rugby club," says one, who is leaning on a crutch and has had to make his way up a staircase. A member of the pub staff turns up to let the cricket nerds know that Super Rugby is due to start in about ten minutes and there are people asking for the rugby on the big screen. The Canterbury Crusaders are to play the Cheetahs (from Bloemfontein) and cricket will have to know its place. "Well it's a Kiwi sport," says one considerate cricket-watcher.
The nerds are herded into another corner where cricket is showing on four smaller screens. Suddenly the scattered fans in various parts of the pub are gathered in one place. They actually form a number almost 20, like the man on the phone said. Almost. By New Zealand cricket numbers, it is a raging mob.
In this section, the hardcore horse-racing gamblers, communicating with each through a stunning vocabulary of abuse, are outnumbered by the geeks. The cricket is shown on four screens and the racing on two. Wearing flat cloth caps and looking like characters out of Dickens, the racing lot stubs out cigarettes in fury.
This is a corner of the pub out of sight from people entering and leaving - in the smoking section. Jokes are being made about consigned to the "cancer zone". Chris Gayle's stumps are uprooted and a cheer goes around. Gayle's gone, the game's over. It is done. It is written. The woman sitting next to me says, "We can't say that. We're New Zealanders, we have long years of experience."
Meanwhile the Crusaders are stomping over the Cheetahs and the rugby lot are making their own noise. It's not yet Brendon Mac for prime minister yet, but he'll make an excellent deputy to the "granddaddy" - Richie McCaw, Crusader and All Black.