I attach a link to an article from the BBC (sorry, I just don’t have time to go elsewhere!) that I think may help explain the reason for the passionate way the nation of New Zealand have a national religion….rugby union.
It is a very good article that perhaps even other sports mad nations like Australia may learn why such a small nation can be such a consistent top performer.
I beg any charioteers who aren’t perhaps that fond of sport to read the article, it shows how the old adage of ‘all New Zealanders have one of two ambitions, to be an All Black, or be married to one’ is an accurate and fair reflection of a whole nation! And the women in NZ are as mad as the men when it comes to Rugby!
My first game as a spectator in NZ will remain with me forever – the passion, knowledge and whole experience was nothing like I had experienced before. I had played rugby for years including at The Stoop and Twickenham, watched World Cup matches in Australia, Wales and England, followed and played local club rugby in England since aged 11, played League and Union in Australia and even got up at stupid o’clock to watch Super Rugby from SA, Aus and NZ, but nothing prepared me for living in NZ and seeing how the game I love is so much more to a nation than any other sport. I thought I was a fan of the game – I realise now that being a fan can mean so much more. As I watch the Pommie cricketers be thrashed by India again, I see the same passion and religious fervour in the Indian fans. Nothing comes close to it and it puts to shame the childish chest beating world of soccer.
It is simply their culture. Haka or no haka, Maori or no Maori.