- Apr 9, 2010
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This has always been my gripe about NZ rugby. They have basically just come of their golden age which lasted almost more than a decade of winning everything. But their public seemed very fragile towards events in the rugby community. Their stadiums which is much smaller than our stadiums (yes their population is smaller so they compensate with smaller stadiums) were consistenty kinda empty in Super rugby. Despite their teams winning almost everyone. I said it then, this is concerning because if they are like this in a golden age then how will they be once another team starts dominating? We as South Africans has endured a tough last 10 years rugby union wise but the sudden rugby euphoria has awakened many people again, but even in the lack of world cup success we have consistently been posting the highest TV and match attendance numbers in the comp. And please don't say we have a much larger population because we don't. The demographics who actually watch rugby in SA numbers far less than the population of NZ.
We will soon see how strong the rugby culture in NZ truly is, and the determining factor won't come from team performance but rather support at the gates of their stadiums.
I don't really see a problem in their approach though. It's kinda waking up from a bad hangover.
I however think that we as South African shouldn't be naive just because we won the World Cup. We still have a lot of work to do, and NZ is still the big dog on top, up until we on a more consistent basis beat them, and the rest of the world, while at the same time grow as a rugby nation.