For my last day in New Zealand I went to a Rugby match. The previous night I had the pleasure of meeting two Swiss French girls who had an extra ticket. So obviously I said yes.

I am not going to try to explain the rules of Rugby here. I barely know them myself. But basically the goal is to get your ball in the other opponents end zone. The ball cant travel forward unless being kicked. To stop a player you must tackle him. The players also don’t where pads.

Rugby is the most popular sport in New Zealand. New Zealand is currently ranked number 1 in the world after winning the most recent Rugby world cup. Yes there is such a thing. New Zealand’s national team name is the “All Blacks” and their symbol is a fern leaf. Somehow I dont think that team name would fly in the US.

The team is about half English decent and half Maori. Maori are the natives of New Zealand and have been in New Zealand for approx. 800 years. When it comes to Rugby they are dominant. Before every game the “All Blacks” do the Haka, which according to Wikipedia, “is the traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.” Sounds like a night out with my fraternity brothers. The link below is a clip of the Haka. It is terrifying. Other teams usually just play their national anthem.

I didn’t see the All Blacks play but a smaller local team. The game was enjoyable but I enjoy American Football more. I am probably biased.


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