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USA vs All Blacks - 01/11


First XV
Aug 6, 2010
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New Zealand

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New Zealand

I was at the game, and it was awesome. Yeah there wasn't a lot of cheering near the end as most fans where just watching how the AB's played. Most Americans I spoke too said that after seeing the AB's live they understand more about how they play and see space. I personally had a fantastic time, I thought the AB's would have loved how the Americans got behind their anthem as that is something we don't do. But the experience would have been amazing for the AB's and Eagles.

I think my experience was similar to yours, although I think the US supporters were still cheering every time the Eagles made a break. I think there were more US supporters than All Black supporters (it was noisey), and they stayed the whole match despite the score line. I also had a great time, and thought that the Chicagoans were great hosts.

What people seem to fail to account for when they are trying to predict the impact of this match for US rugby, is the distance that a lot of the crowd traveled to see the match - there were supporters from all over North America that came to see this game live.

I think the main obstacle in growing the game is in the lack of understanding of the rules (not the score line). While the event was generally staged well (other nations could learn a lot from the Americans as to how to cater for the fans), they missed an opportunity to generate "repeat business" by not getting a ground announcer that knew the game, and was able to educate those that came to watch it live. For example, they would say "penalty, not rolling away", but wouldn't explain what "not rolling away" actually was. I had two newbies in my group, plus a group of Americans behind me, that didn't understand the rules, so I spent quite a bit of time explaining what was going onto them.

Anyway, I'm sure if the AB's came back, it would be well supported, but I think they won't have an opening until 2017 or 18 ... maybe one of the other big sides could come instead.