We don’t sing as one

July 8, 2017

The Welsh have been singing at rugby games for generations.

Australians took to singing Waltzing Matilda  more recently.

Why don’t New Zealanders sing?

When we were in Argentina to watch the Pumas play their first home game in the Rugby Championship against the All blacks four years ago, the group practised singing before the game but once we got to the stadium any attempts to get a rousing song going petered out.

The Rugby Union has been using social media to get garner enthusiasm for Tutira Mai 

It means stand as one but it hasn’t got us singing as one.

It’s been shared and liked on Facebook by thousands of people but has failed to get traction at the tests.

Lions fans have been louder, and possibly more numerous than the locals.

Maybe many of the people who go to rugby matches aren’t the people on social media.

And playing Tutira Mai through the speakers isn’t enough to get the crowd singing. As we found in Argentina, that requires strong singers in the crowd.

I like the song, even though Ngatai Huata, the daughter of Canon Wi Te Tau Huata, who composed it, says we’ve got the words and tune wrong but I won’t be at the test and even if I was, I’m definitely not the one to get a crowd  to sing as one.

However, singing or not, I will be backing black and my prediction – based on the fact the team will want a win for captain Kieran Read’s 100th test and they will also be focussed on continuing the unbroken steak of series wins against the Lions – is a win to the All Blacks by um, 21-13.

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The last test

June 20, 2010

The first game I can remember watching at Carisbrrok was a match between Otago and the Lions.

It would have been 1975ish, in the days when touring teams toured the provinces.

I can’t remember the score though I suspect we lost. It wasn’t the only Otago loss I’ve watched but I also saw some wins, most notably the day the team captained by Taine Randall won the NPC final.

We used to go down to Dunedin regularly for NPC games and in the early days of the Super 12 but in recent years we’ve had other priorities.

But we went down again for Carisbrook’s 37th and final rugby test match last night.

The city was buzzing and turned on a glroious day – blue sky, sunshine and almost no wind. The mild temperature would have been welcomed by the teams playing nude rugby in the afternoon.

As part of the pre-test entertainment, Colin Meads and Otago’s favourite sons Josh Kronfeld and Jeff Wilson told us there favourite memories of the ground.

Deborah Wai Kapohe and Judd Arthur sang the national anthems – powerfully.

Wales scored first and second, then the All Blacks found their feet.

After the final whistle, with the score at 42 -9, the City of Dunedin Pipe Band marched on to the ground to play Auld Lang Syne, Jeff Wilson dug out a piece of turf to be taken to the new Forsyth Barr Stadium and the celebration finished with a fireworks display.

The ODT editorialises in tribute to Carisbrook here.

Jim Mora chatted to Ian Galloway and Ron Polenski about Carisbrook here.

UPDATE: Keeping Stock pays tribute too.


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