Saturday, 24 October 2009


We have been delighted with the fantastic win over Canterbury by the Southland Stags which has seen the Log of Wood rest in Southland over the Summer. In fact, it is fitting at this time , that this great piece of Rugby history, the Ranfurly Shield should rest in one of the rural provinces.

The provincial reaction to the return on of the great trophy should send a signal to the people who are organising the rugby World Cup. Its time to start building up the support to the Big Event. Its time to start bringing the country, the whole country, in together. We have as they say 4 million ambassadors.

But without a doubt this going to be a big mission and many of those in the events and PR industries are starting to voice concern that the Government and indeed the Rugby World Cup 2011 are leaving the job to build the fever a little late.

Its not like Rugby is the thing that binds us as a nation anymore. We saw that when we attended the Wellington vs North Harbour Game last weekend. The small crowd looked lonely.

We remember 10 years ago when it seemed the whole of Wellington would turn out for the most uneven of rugby battles. The city pumped, there was hardly a seat in any pubs as they took care of the overflow of the punters who could only settle for seeing the game on a big screen. They were the glory days.

As we walked to the game last Saturday the pubs were virtually empty. There was no buzz.

So those who are organising the Big Event are starting with the biggest of handicaps - Apathy.

And to build the fervour, to get everyone excited, and to understand that an event the size of the Rugby World Cup will have untold the spin offs , the like of which we saw with the Lions tour, then someone needs to start infecting the provinces with rugby fever...

And we don't want the flashy stories of who the rugby stars are shagging, We want to hear about the stories of the players who wouldn't be All Blacks if its wasn't for the unfailing support of their mum who cleaned nights to pay for her boys new rugby boots and his out of town trips.

We want to hear of the fundraising groups who tirelessly make cheese rolls and lamingtons so that the boys can play under flood lights at night.

We want to hear that someone is willing to donate a kidney to one of our greatest sporting heros so he can live. We want to hear that they make good dads.

And we want to see them playing hard like its not a job but something they were born to do - that to play the great game was their destiny.

We don't want to hear about superstars just heroes. Heroes like the Southland Stags. That's what the story of the Rugby World Cup should be all about. Ordinary people with big hearts doing great things. Stories that will infect us with pride.

Tell us those stories and we will catch the fever.


thedeityformerlyknownasnigel6888 said...

sorry prawn, aint going to happen.

The deadheads at the NZRFU sold out the game to sky years ago, and all they care about is dollars (and pitifully few of them too).

the last two World cup debacles. The stupidest coach(es) in world rugby ("judge me by my results, er ok I didnt mean those results"), the constant dicking around with the NPC, and the ludicrous "super 9,12,14, 23 or whatever" tournament that sees the rugby season start in February has all killed off the game.

Not to mention the constant meaningless all black tours with 30 kids no-one has ever heard of being rotated through games that don't matter and who then disappear without trace.

Us punters have noticed, and have voted with our feet.

Pique Oil said...

A fantastic post BB but sadly it will not make an iota of difference to the nzrfu.
They are truly corporatised and now are doing the bullshit speak and the riddles, mindgames etc that come with the corporate identity.
The only way to get the world cup happening will be a coup from the provinces, to take back NZ Rugby.
Perhaps Alf could find some office space for the new Rugby Union in Eketahuna or since the shield is down south, how about the head office in Nightcaps.
At the very least the move would clear a massive amount of useless dross from the head office as they would not handle being treated as mortals by the locals

pdm said...

Forget all of that BB.

Southlands nest job is to beat Wellington next weekend to set up a final with Hawkes Bay.

Then the provinces can get in and sort out the deadheads in the NZRFU.


Shane Pleasance said...

Yes, the title will round the year off nicely for us here in Southland, thank you.