Should we stop bagging the Aussies now?
Yeah, I know we like bagging Aussies, but the fact is it’s not reciprocal.
When Australia got thrown out of the 1995 Rugby World Cup quarter-final by an England drop goal and NZ played England the next week in the semi-final, to a man and woman my West London Australian football team and accompanying WAGs were cheering as loudly as I was when Jonah Lomu ran over Mike Catt and the rest of the English rugby team. (And their after-match haka in the main street of Bath had as much enthusiasm as even Pita Sharples would hope for, if not any finesse.)
I’ll wager something similar was happening across the Tasman last night and this morning. (Well, maybe without the haka.) I’ll bet that while we NZers were getting excited about Germany kicking Aussie arse, Aussies were getting excited in a more positive way about the All Whites’ success, and were just thrilled as we were when in the last minute they won our first point in World Cup history. (It’s a bit like seeing your little brother do well, I guess.)
So to test that theory, here’s a selection of last night’s match reports from a suite of Aussie news rags:
FROM villain to hero, Winston Reid did for New Zealand what no one could do for Australia. ..
AUSTRALIA'S trans-Tasman cousins produced a performance with the sort of grit and spirit Pim Verbeek's men are desperate for…
- Photos: Kiwis do themselves proud
- All White on the night - Kiwis show Australia how it's done
For those of us who are in South Africa the only good that can come of all this is that most people think the Australia flag is the New Zealand flag and vice versa, so we can at least pretend that we're supporting a team that's kicked one goal.
- Australasia 1 - Slovakia 1: Kiwis get the point
So it was that New Zealand went into its match against Slovakia rated by bookies, pundits and football fans as the least intimidating, the least watchable ...
Finally, in related news, German engineers develop a Vuvezela-blocker for your lounge, and England fans? Well, they’ve been developing their own vuvuzelas for their next game: