Welcome to New Zealand

Some pundits *cough Stephen Jones *cough* have a history of winding up the Kiwis, insulting everything from hospitality to weather to their general attitude. But so far the welcome here has been amazing, and ne’re a grumpy kiwi in sight. Although a few eccentrics for sure, like the guy who runs up and down Baldwin St (steepest in the world) every day.

Everyone is interested in you, where you are from, and offering up tips on things to see and perhaps how your rugby team could perform better. Even the local bogans of Invercargill doing their “mainies” up and down the central drags of this southern city stop and chat and ask where all the Scottish girls are. Some of the conversations on Saturday night would never even have been attempted in Glasgow for fear of a stabbing!

There must be a lot of Scots living here though, as the locals spot the accent a mile off but don’t always assume you have come all the way round the world to watch rugby. Who else would be dressed like this on a Saturday night?

In this part of the world everyone has a friendly word for Scotland, but the hype for the All Blacks is beyond belief. You can’t go 5 metres without seeing a flag, a message of welcome to rugby fans or a home made “Go All Blacks” sign. Right now, this is rugby central even more than you would think credible. Local news is pretty much just rugby news. Everything that is newsworthy seems to relate to rugby anyway.

There is a great Scottish travelling support, and in a place this small it is easy to bump into folk you have seen in other places and get chatting.

And yes, it does look like Lord of The Rings.

In terms of the rugby so far Wales v South Africa was probably the pick of the games, Wales were very unlucky and played better than they have in a long time. Any Pacific Island No. 8s out there with grannies from Govan?

Referees seem to be going harder on the speed of breakdown work, trying to free up quick ball, which is to be applauded. So far, so good. Now for Georgia, and back to the terraces of Invercargill’s Rugby Ground.

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2 comments on “Welcome to New Zealand

  1. Fraser on

    Just watched the game – only my personal feeling but delighted with the win – seems a lot of vaguely negative comments on many sports channels about Scotland’s performance but we did exactly what we needed to there – got another win.

    The forwards were awesome in the match – Georgia scrum was going backwards and their reputation was bigger than the Romanians. The lineout was also streets better today – only slight worry would be out pack minus Murray vs. Argentina – he had his game face on tonight (as did Jacobson) : )

    Not to say this is a rose tinted view – there were many mistakes and too many handling errors and we gave away so much possession, especially in the 2nd half when it looked like we could have had them on the ropes. The weather looked very gadgy so will (optimistically) put a lot of the errors ons down to that : )

    We were on the verge of some very nice rugby there so here’s hoping it all clicks into place vs. Argentina. Quite surprised at the seemingly negative bent from G.Thomas and various “pundits” on the BBC but … we won … again.

    Being honest I suspect England will put a fair amount of points past Georgia but am feeling pragmatic and happy with tonight’s result!

  2. Kev on

    Forwards were outstanding! Also thought that our back attack was also good outside 10. This may be game to for the team but not for all the players so with all the pressure I’m happy.
    I also am fed up of pundits, press etc being negative EVERY time Scotland hit the paddock ……this is a good squad, well coached and growing in confidence.
    Come on Scotland

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