Learning the sport of rugby with world champ fans
10.24.2011 - 10.24.2011
Being in NZ for rugby world cup (RWC) has been a lot of fun, and has really enlightened us to a sport that we knew little to nothing about. We have been trying for the past three days to get an All Blacks flag for our campervan, but everywhere is sold out. People walk the streets bouncing rugby balls like we would a basketball and parks are alley ways are filled with kids playing touch rugby like you’d see soccer being played in South America. The country’s support for the national team is amazing, almost every car and house has at least one All Blacks flag waving, and you can see the All Blacks logo and slogan on anything from beer bottle tops in the city to paint on bales of hay in the country. Here is a photo of “go the ABs” on rocks at the beach… who cares about drawing a heart around your initials when there is rugby at stake!
Restaurants, supermarkets and advertisements all have “All Blacks” specials and commercials. For example, this town was famous for its carrots and painted their huge orange carrot statue black for the RWC in support and as an ad for a painting company.
For the final game we attended the Roturua City “Fan Zone” which was held in an event stadium suitable for concerts and major sports games. The stadium had a ton of people all dressed in black ready to support their team on a big screen. It was fun to learn game details with the locals who were eager to explain the rules. When the whistle blew at the end of the game signifying a victory, we were surprised with indoor fireworks and confetti. For as long as we have been here, the radio talk has been all about rugby and it continues with thoughts on how the tourist economy will be after RWC, and of course the endless game analysis.