Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rugby: the national sport of New Zealand.

Last night I was talking with a guy and he was asking me how my time in New Zealand was going. He asked what people in the US think about when they hear about New Zealand. I told him they think of it as the island off of Australia, the place where Lord of the Rings and Narnia were filmed, beautiful landscape, and sheep. To that he replied, "they don't think about rugby?"

Kiwi's love rugby. They love playing rugby, talking about rugby, and watching rugby on TV.

This past Friday, I went to my first rugby game. What a fun experience! It was the Crusaders (Home team) vs. the Hurricanes (another NZ team from the North Island). We got our tickets through The Holy Grail, a bar in Christchurch. For $30 (roughly $15 US dollars) we got a ride to and from the game, a ticket for the game, and two free drinks. We were at the end of the field across from the box seats and about 10 rows back.

Multiple people around us were dressed up for the game. Behind us were four guys dressed up in knight costumes and a large group of guys were sporting body paint. There was so much energy in the stadium, especially when the Crusaders scored, and even though the Crusaders lost, it was a really fun game to be at.

Luckily, a friend who plays rugby went with us to the game. He told us some of the basic rules, taught us about scrums and rucks and answered the multiple questions we had during the game! It was a lot of fun and I hope to see many more games before the semester is done.

Oh, and in front us at the game were some exchange students who were studying at Canterbury University. One guy grew up in Kansas City, goes to William Jewel and knows a few of my friends that go there! How bizarre! It really is a small world!