Posts Tagged ‘Rugby’

This weekend we enjoyed a night out with friends watching the Melbourne Storm — currently first on the ladder — take on the 2nd place Brisbane Broncos.  It was our first live rugby match and we loved every minute of it.  The experience can be summed up as follows:

Learning the rules of the game

One small scuffle that was squashed before it could become an all-out brawl.

Very few hoaky mid-game marketing stunts…although there were cheerleaders and a mascot.

Ended after two seemingly short 45-minute halves.  The clock doesn’t stop except in rare occasions unlike NFL (Gridiron, as they call it here) where it seems there is a TV timeout after nearly every play.

Really solid, large-necked, big-legged, strong-armed men running at each other with ungodly amounts of force and speed.

Un-adulterated brutality.  Imagine NFL without the pads.  So Brutal. 

Great seats at a really cool venue, AAMI park, pronounced “Amy“.

Bundled up in our warm, hooded, winter jackets we felt like we were at a football game at home.

Yes, VICTORY for the Storm!

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I caveat this post with the very obvious fact that we spent less than a week in New Zealand so all observations and theories below are strictly opinions based on our limited time there.

One major difference between New Zealand and Australia is that New Zealanders seemed so proud of their heritage.  Australia’s aboriginals are still struggling (and I mean that in the most serious sense) in so many ways; for their rights to be recognized, to find their place in society, for equality and acceptance…I could go on and on. 

The Maori people and traditions, in contrast, seem to be celebrated in New Zealand.  This pride was evident throughout our experience.  From the very moment we arrived, we were greeted with “Kia’Ora” and other beautiful Maori words. 

While in Rotorua, we enjoyed a Maori performance and traditional Hangi dinner.  The Maori were fierce warriors and we were greeted by the Chief and his warrior clan.

After a walk through the Maori village and very informative performances about the Maori way-of-life, we watched our Hangi dinner being taken out of the ground. 


The dinner was delicious and the smoked flavor was so unique.  Both Ryan and I went back for seconds.

We also enjoyed a performance which included songs, dances, and stories from the Maori.

*Sorry for the bad quality of this picture.*  The Maori have distinctive dances and chants (hakas) that can be very intimidating.  They use their body parts as instruments and fierce faces for intimidation.  The New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, begins each match with the Haka, issued as a challenge to their opponents.  If you haven’t seen a haka before, click on the video links below.  The intensity and pride is truly amazing. 





I’m a sucker for traditions, culture, and patriotism.  I’m one of those girls who gets weepy during the National Anthem so the whole evening with the Maori was truly moving.  As we were leaving, one of the hosts shared with us a Maori saying that was perfectly fitting for that evening (the 10th anniversary of September 11th) and for the world in which we live. 

“E ki ana te korero ko te mea nui ki roto i te ao he tangata he tangata he tangata. [The most important thing in the world is people, people, people.]”

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