The idea that New Zealand was a dysfunctional, monochrome Polish shipyard populated by grim Jack Mulgans prior to the Rogernomics revolution is one of the most annoyingly pernicious myths there is.
I calls it as I sees it, not as it was. I was at the B&I Lions vs Bay of Plenty match where a rowdy Brit was stared down by a large number of grumpy Kiwis who wanted to the watch the game without any of his "blimmin carry on".
Nah, the media over here ran many many stories about that this time last year, because someone had wondered 'what if Waitakere and the 'Nix both made it to world club champs?'
Wouldn't that be great!
Dear PAS whanau, should any of you venture this side of the Tasman to view the Sydney FC game, please contact me directly (email@example.com) as I desparately want to go and am yet to find a mate who is free (I invite speculation about their poxy priorities). Moreover, if you can both attend and get tickets pre-Wednesday (when they go public in Sydney) that'd be grand.
Paul: Get an away zone ticket, and just go and stand with the Phoenix fans. You will make friends. I did that years ago when I went to an Ipswich Town game at Aston Villa - good fun.
I agree with Tom about what crowds used to be like. I watched a 38 minute higlight package of the 1st Lions test in Dunedin in 1966 on an Air NZ flight recently and was surprised at the amount of crowd noise. Fantastic - and I wondered what happened to it. It's worth watching those old games for the difference in the play too - scrums that don't collapse because the front rows would be up as quick as possible to bind together and set the platform, and then the others joined in, lineouts that didn't take 2 mintues to set up....the game _moved_ - no need for irritating ear-splitting pop music to be played while players have drinks breaks.
Tom you also say the jury is out on the Phoenix. Well, certainly in terms of regularly getting big crowds, for sure. But through the dark periods of October and November they got 6,000 when playing poorly and made nearly as much noise. That at the moment is the core, and it is pretty solid. The key is to pick that up to around the 10,000 mark - apparently at that point it is pretty much self-sustaining from a financial pov.
Edward, thanks - didn't know such a thing existed. That said, looks like some Wellington mates/supporters are heading over and will be meeting up pre- and post-match. Should be grand. I'm sure the supporters club will advise too of any plans.