I went to my first rugby game a couple of weeks ago and what an experience. It was New Zealands equivalent to the Super Bowl. It was the Tri Nations, a series of test matches between Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. The All Blacks (NZ) played the Wallabies (AUS) here in Wellington. The city was buzzing with excitement and was in full support for their team. They even had kangaroo mascots walking around the city all week that you could put these black stickers on them to “Black Out The Wallabies.” It was rather cute.
The week of the game the All Blacks team came into the gym I train at to do their workouts. It was interesting because first of all, I didn’t even know who they were and they are pretty famous in this country. Although, not coined “famous” like we have in the states. They are still treated like everyone else and there is not such thing as “posse, entourage, or paparazzi.” After some of the other trainers let me know who was in the building, I started to notice who was an All Black player because they all pretty much had cauliflower ear. I was amazed to see how different they looked compared to our American football players. Most of our football players have to pack on the pounds and are HUGE! These rugby guys are some of the leanest athletes I have seen who engage in such high speed physical contact with no padding once so ever. You have to literally be a John Deer Tractor to get the ball down the field. This is no sissy sport.
My first rugby experience was a fantastic one. The All Blacks won which means bragging rights for New Zealand over Australia, and I got to see a hakka for myself in real life. This is a sort of pregame dance/cheer that The All Blacks do before each game while facing their opponent who sits there and what I like to say, just takes it. It is truly intimidating and if this does not get you pumped up, I don’t know what will. Check it out…