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counting down the days
Kudos England Club Rugby - A Kiwi Perspective
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Kudos England Club Rugby   -   A Kiwi Perspective

Kia ora all and welcome from New Zealand, home of the mighty and reigning world cup champion All Blacks. It's been a couple of months now since we hosted our long awaited rugby world cup tournament and we know it'll be a long, long wait till we host it again and the hang over continues for us.

So having successfully hosted the latest version of world rugbys showpiece, we in New Zealand are now counting down the days to the NEXT world cup. Eagerly looking out for anything rugby now, I was stunned, pleasantly I must add, when I checked out the sport news today to find one of the main stories on local channels is the amazing turnout at Twickers for the English Premier Competition between Saracens and Harlequins.

My point of this article is two fold. First of all, wow!! Well done to those 82000 fans who attended and in so doing set a new record for attendance at a rugby club match. That record was formerly held by French club sides Stade Francais and Clermont-Auvergne in their Top 14 match in 2009 at Stade Francais which attracted 79,842 spectators. Our country will never see the likes of that on our home grounds and honestly speaking (or writing? - you get my point!) the interest in our club rugby is nowhere near comparable to European and even South African club games. If you want to know why, I'd say the All Blacks continuously letting us down every 4 years had something to do with it, because every loss just increased the pain therefore making the game harder to watch.

Which gives me a great segway to the next point of this article. Does the fact that YOU will be hosting the next rugby world cup have anything to do with the interest in this particular game? Or is my lack of rugby knowledge for anything not All Black related, jading the point that your club support has always been this strong? It's just that our international teams performance effects our rugby at more than just international level. So when you consider your teams performance at this years world cup, both on and off the field, was so appalling (don't deny it - your team did you fans no justice whatsoever!) then as a rugby fan it gives me great joy to see you haven't abandoned the game - as I KNOW we would have had the All Blacks not won this year! Quite the contrary it seems your support has grown stronger and as a nation who call ourselves the home of rugby, these facts make me reconsider that title.

The rugby world cup left New Zealanders hungry for anything rugby related. The very fact that I am here now waxing lyrical about English rugby for goodness sake illustrates that point. So while we in the south get a heck of a lot of joy out of thrashing your teams and rubbishing English rugby, may I take this opportunity to say hey, good on ya mate for continuing to support a game we all love in spite of your team.

I would even go so far as to say that we kiwis have finally learned how to openly support our team, as we did this year, from you. So kudos pommies. See you at the next world cup where I hope your international team returns your support - but just enough for us to beat you in the final!


Street Talk

Just for the record Saracens played Harlequins at Wembley 10 days ago in front of 82,000

Reply
  about 8 years ago
C4rmen  

Nice article Jacqui, a good read. But dont forget us Aussies tsk tsk :p

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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