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Speaker: Bigger than us

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  • Hadyn Green,

    doh, after a quick re-read it may sound a little like I'm having a "go" at Craig, not the intention. No retraction just a "no offence intended"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hadyn:

    None taken - to run some sports cliches through a blender, it's a game of two halves on PA System and you can't bitch when someone is playing the ball not the man. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In short: supporting the All Blacks is not at all like anything political. It's just something that traditionally New Zealanders have been good at.

    I'm not so sure about that. We're very good about supporting them when they win. We're not so good about it when we lose. You don't often hear, after All Blacks losing, "the better team won, and that's OK". The best you might hear is "the better team won, there's going to have to be heads rolling". Most likely you'll hear "The All Black sucked! F'ing XXX and stupid YYY can't pass/throw/kick/tackle" etc etc.

    I was... I can't remember if it was reading or watching tv now... some ex- All Black who's now in the UK somewhere. He was commenting about how great the club rugby fans there are. They sing like legends, they make noise like buggery, and they cheer incredibly loud if you win.

    And if you lose they go oh well, give a decent clap, head to the pub, and come back and support you next week. Contrast that to the fickle support a lot of Air NZ cup teams have been having...

    I'd never want to pay to see a test in New Zealand, it's better on the TV, but I'd shell out a heap of cash to be at a Welsh test just to be in an environment where 80 thousand rugby fans sing to support their team., bring the house down, and expect to lose but hope to win. That's supporting your team.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    I'm not so sure about that. We're very good about supporting them when they win. We're not so good about it when we lose. You don't often hear, after All Blacks losing, "the better team won, and that's OK". The best you might hear is "the better team won, there's going to have to be heads rolling". Most likely you'll hear "The All Black sucked! F'ing XXX and stupid YYY can't pass/throw/kick/tackle" etc etc.

    I KNOW and this bugs the hell out of me. We owe it to ourselves to try harder to be good fans and supporters; surely it should be like a two-way street, a relationship... but in reality, we do all the taking, and the players and coaches and so on do all the giving.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    I KNOW and this bugs the hell out of me

    Me too. On the other hand, I've heard plenty of far more knowledgeable people than I (e.g. ex-players) say that the fact that the NZ fan base are (generalisation) such bad losers is one of the major reasons why our national team is so good.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Like some of the South American soccer nations where the goalie who lets in a losing goal risks a bullet after the game?

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    I've heard plenty of far more knowledgeable people than I (e.g. ex-players) say that the fact that the NZ fan base are (generalisation) such bad losers is one of the major reasons why our national team is so good.

    Can hardly believe that -- would be much more likely to give me a nervous twitch, a paranoid disposition, and a sense of impending doom.

    Like some of the South American soccer nations where the goalie who lets in a losing goal risks a bullet after the game?

    Yeah, cool, let's hope that we never go that far. I have heard of players being abused in public for dropping THAT pass, or missing THAT penalty or whatever.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    nervous twitch, a paranoid disposition, and a sense of impending doom

    I agree. I think the reason NZ have such a good national team is the amount of passion at the grassroots level. Same goes for soccer in Sth America, cricket in the West Indies and baseball in the US of A.
    If the Aussies could focus all of their footballing energies on one code instead of three, then we'd really have something to worry about.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    We'll never go as far as the South Americans because of the previously mentioned

    the alleged Kiwi qualities of pragmatic individualism, distrust of pretension and excessive enthusiasm and (above all else) just keeping things in perspective

    I think the reason why we get more of the

    "The All Black sucked! F'ing XXX and stupid YYY can't pass/throw/kick/tackle"

    style of commentary is perhaps because ::cough:: we are so good.

    If we were Scotland, who has never beaten the All Blacks and we came within 3 points but still lost, we'd be happy. We would have just measured ourselves against the best team in the world and found ourselves to be pretty close.

    But when you support the best team in the world (and the All Blacks have been for some time now) you almost instinctively have to blame someone in the team for any loss. Past the knee-jerk reaction and after a cup of tea we should be able to say more about the reasons for the loss, unfortunately many in our MSM only report the knee-jerk and nothing else.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    I think the reason NZ have such a good national team is the amount of passion at the grassroots level.Same goes for soccer in Sth America, cricket in the West Indies and baseball in the US of A.

    I dunno ..... you are probably right, but I'm not 100% convinced. The high level of grass-roots passion in UK football (soccer) for example has not translated to international success for England.

    But I suspect you are right in that a strong grass-roots is a prerequisite, along with talent, hard work etc etc.

    Its true though that more than one ex AB has said (usually post-career) that above anything else the fear of losing is what most motivated them (which sounds a bit sad really - wheres the fun :)

    Also agree with Haydn, when you are used to winning all the time, losing sucks much much more.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Speaking as a strictly non rugby person, I have to say that I think we are entirely too hard on our international sports people. When the ABs win a match, as they sometimes do, by what I would say was a very good margin, 10 points or so, the rugby analysts start in. Why the need to be so critical, I wonder? Is it all down to small nation insecurity, or something else?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    When the ABs win a match, as they sometimes do, by what I would say was a very good margin, 10 points or so, the rugby analysts start in. Why the need to be so critical, I wonder?

    Well at least we're consistent :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    I think the reason why we get more of the

    "The All Blacks sucked! F'ing XXX and stupid YYY can't pass/throw/kick/tackle"

    style of commentary is perhaps because ::cough:: we are so good.

    I don't want this to be true, because that would make us collectively some of the worst losers in sport. Is it not possible to lose gracefully and calmly? Can we really excuse this petulant tastelessness, this lack of basic manners and class?

    I'm half-expecting someone to jump in with that thing about domestic violence rising sharply when the ABs lose. Which if it's true, is also shit.

    I'm also starting to form a conspiracy theory. If a losing ABs team is worth less as a brand, isnt in the best interests of the owners of the brand to place pressure "by proxy" (i.e. the public, whipped up by the MSM) on the team to always win?

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    ... and while I may appear to be using the 'royal we', I'm including myself in this criticism because in the past I have been known to bitch and moan and jump up and down, usually about Justin Marshall's slow wobbly passing :D

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    On a more positive note, did anyone else see possibly the finest on-field moment of the RWC so far?

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Fucking hell, thats a scorcher.

    possibly the finest on-field moment of the RWC so far?

    Followed by possibly the finest off-field moment, when Ngwenya and Habana traded shirts.

    Booo, Adidas/NZRFU/ABs.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I don't want this to be true, because that would make us collectively some of the worst losers in sport. Is it not possible to lose gracefully and calmly? Can we really excuse this petulant tastelessness, this lack of basic manners and class?

    I'm not sure whether this makes it better or worse, but we are not alone. Have you ever read the relevant message boards when, say, the New York Yankees lose a big game?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    possibly the finest on-field moment of the RWC so far?

    Looks like he can now have his choice of European club contracts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I'm half-expecting someone to jump in with that thing about domestic violence rising sharply when the ABs lose. Which if it's true

    Don't worry, it's not, thank goodness.

    In our defence ("our" being much like Stephen's "we") at least we don't hate/hurt/kill supporters of opposition teams like some football supporters in England and South America and Europe. When we lose we hate ourselves not our opponents, which has to be a slightly good thing...doesn't it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    And thanks RL, the Dropkicks were looking for that the other night

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    In a non World Cup year if Canty loses the violence in town is indesciminate and many pubs ask you to remove team colours etc.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Followed by possibly the finest off-field moment, when Ngwenya and Habana traded shirts.

    That's possibly the best double-inside-outside swerve I have ever seen, he owns Habana's jersey, and that's the way it should be.
    I played wing, Henry was my Form Master, we're in good hands.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    That's possibly the best double-inside-outside swerve I have ever seen, he owns Habana's jersey, and that's the way it should be.

    I wonder if a young Lomu would've caught him.

    I quite liked the face-plant *cough* fend on the SA first-five as well.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I wonder if a young Lomu would've caught him.

    No he wouldn't have, it wasn't just the dazzling pace that beat Habana, it was the insane inside outside swerve that mis-footed Habana, that's old school skills that is.

    I quite liked the face-plant *cough* fend on the SA first-five as well.

    Yes that was real nice, old school again and well worth the trouble learning how to do it, it's all about the ball placement (other arm), weight distribution (you lean in) and perfect timing, as that was a good display of it.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I dunno ..... you are probably right, but I'm not 100% convinced. The high level of grass-roots passion in UK football (soccer) for example has not translated to international success for England.

    I think there's a world of difference between the UK soccer structure, and the NZ rugby structure. Their club football has a whole heap of overseas players in it, so I'm not sure if there's as much push for the domestic players. The Air NZ Cup, while it's probably in decline a little from half a dozen years ago, is still filled with NZers, and I would imagine is still the best domestic rugby competition in the world in terms of talent across the field.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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