Sunday, March 29, 2009


So we had our first official Rugby experience! For the first time in over 2 years high level professional rugby was played in Palmy. The league that these teams were in is called the Super 14 and includes teams from Australia, NZ, and S. Africa. Check out the website links if you are interested. It is actually pretty cool and there is no love lost between the teams!

We saw a match between the Highlanders (from Dunedin, NZ on the south island) and the Bulls (from somewhere in S. Africa). Despite not knowing all of the rules it was a great time, think a combo between football and soccer. There are 15 players on the field at any given time so there is a lot of off the ball runs and a battle for field position, but when people have the ball they get absolutely drilled. It is pretty exciting to watch. Anyways the Highlanders (the home team in this instance) won the game 35 to 12 (I think) so the atmosphere in the stadium was pretty cool.

It was pretty interesting the accommodations that these professional athletes get compared to what they get in the States. Let's just say for them playing the most popular sport in NZ they don't get the same luxuries as pro football, baseball or basketball players do. Although, I guess if you are a rugby player you are so tough that you don't need any pads so who needs luxuries, right?

The view from the stadium was pretty cool... it is pretty much the highest point in Palmy so you can see all the mountains, etc.

The game ball was flown in by helicopter. The kid is running with it from the helicopter to the referee.

So this is the players sideline accommodations. If you look closely you can see a huge guy in a kilt without a shirt... that is the 'highlander.' Supposedly there is a large Scottish population down there in Otago (the region where Dunedin is located).

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