Rugby Extra

This is an extra post for those of you interested in seeing where the rugby was staged yesterday. The American Eagles and the All Blacks played at Soldier Field.  The city of Chicago was heaving with New Zealanders. As we walked through town we could not believe the number of my country men and women who were in town for the game.

It does seem like I was more interested in the people  and the stadium than the rugby.  It might look like that? And it might be true. But I did not have the required lens for sports shots from the cheap seats. And it is more fun to watch a game than to try and frame good shots of a game from afar. And to tell the truth I am more interested in the people. The score was 74 – 6.  Thorough it was still a great maatch to attend. Of course by the end all the Kiwis were cheering the American team along as well. Kiwi’s are like that.


The Haka was performed through a haze of fireworks, which was an iteresting addition.

But the three New Zealand tenors absolutely blew me away. Both national anthems were sung by men with stunning voices.

three tenors

Soldier Field is very modern, and  though freezing cold in the wind tunnel beer halls- luckily we were booked on the sunny side of the stadium which was pure luck. And I had my New Zealand woolen jersey on anyway.


Chicago in the morning on our way home.

Now I am off out to do some more farm work before I lose the light. We are winterizing the gardens.

See you in the morning.

Your friend,




33 Comments on “Rugby Extra

  1. Am I the first to comment C.? If so, that is also a first! I just happened to be online when your post popped up! We thought about you yesterday while watching the match…It was amazing to see the Haka performed…I had never seen it before and yes, the 3 tenors were wonderful! Congratulations on such a win…your guys were a force! And I bet it was so wonderful for you to be surrounded again by so many of your country men and women! What is the significance of the fern frond?

    • The fern, a silver fern, is the official motif or emblem of New Zealanders. in fact there is talk of trying to make it our national flag though i am sure that will be hard to get through! I love the ferm symbol.. c

      • When our shearers came up from NZ a few years ago they brought me a baseball cap with the silver fern on it. It is black and white. It is too pretty to wear.

    • The Americans right next to us started chanting USA!, USA,! very loudly thoughout the haka, very bad form, and as the haka is not put through the sound system the heckling made it very hard for us to even hear it. Bit of a shame really. We were disappointed. I guess they were a bit threatened. A case of the few spoiling it for the many. I very seldom get angry but I was this time and I felt like pushing them over like dominoes. They were drunk, they would have fallen down like bowling pins. However I resisted. c

  2. I was watching – trying to spot you as the cameras seemed to roam the crowd and land most often on the Kiwis.

  3. It played live here in New Zealand at 9am Sunday morning. What a huge crowd! Great to see other Kiwis flocking around you. How marvellous to be steeped in your birth culture but in your chosen home now.
    A lot of understanding is needed to be shared around the Haka. I hope learning around it will spread. It was not easy to hear on the tele either due to the fireworks(!) going off. But ohh such pride in Sole Mio singing our national anthem so utterly impressively. They are two brothers and a cousin of Samoan descent, all classically trained. Your photos are a treat to view.

  4. Thanks for taking us along to see the game! At first I thought you meant it was 74 – 6 for the American team … even though your voice suggested it was the other way around. That must have felt awfully good!! 😉 The pictures of Chicago are great. I feel like I’ve been on a world tour with you lately!

  5. Oh my goodness, my son would be so jealous! He played rugby for years in college. I grew to know and love the game myself. Glad you enjoyed the game.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking us along! Yes, this would have been a somewhat different cultural experience in the lower 48 States 🙂 ! So glad you were there . . . . Cannot understand any local feeling so ‘thereatend’ by something just a little different that they did not even try and appreciate the haka! And must see whether the anthems sung by the Samoans are on YouTube! Clapping, Celi, clapping !!!!!!!! And ‘your’ Chicago is beautiful!!

    • Yes, both the anthems and the haka are on separately but since I am impossible giving links just ask Mr Google!!!! Marvellous rendition of the NZ anthem, tho’ some did not like!!! A very quiet version of the haka to my way of thinking: not ‘scary’ enough for me 🙂 !!!!!

      • I really did like what they did with our National Anthem.. just glorious in the park, you had to be there to appreciate the resonance of their voices, even in descant.

  7. Oh, the photos make me miss winter morning rugby in England, where you lose sensation in your fingers and toes, and are desperate for a hot drink with a tot of something by the end of play. It sounds as if you had a simply splendid time, and people watching is as much a spectator sport as the rugby itself!

  8. Fabulous pics of stadium and Chicago surrounds, thanks. Sooo envious of that spotlessly clean commuter train 🙂 The haka appeared to be very watered down, pity. Laura

  9. I love that fern shape and it would make the flag all the more special and interesting. I can feel the bright crispness of the day from here. Glad you enjoyed it. Now happy winterizing the gardens and the farmy.

  10. I love going to watch the All Blacks play, the atmosphere in Cardiff(married to a Welshman) is amazing. Rugby is such a wonderful sport bringing people of a all nations together. This year we have given our tickets for Wales v NZ to some friends as one of them has never seen NZ play, so this year I will just have to be content to see Wales take on South Africa, England and Scotland.
    I was hoping that the Eagles fullback was going to score yesterday as he played for Nottingham rugby for several years:)

    Great to see that many people going to watch as I know there is so much work going on behind the scenes in American rugby, if America does become a rugby country they will be a force to be reckoned with!

    I have been at a number of games where the crowd has started singing or chanting when the Haka is being performed and I must admit I have mixed feelings about it as on one hand I love seeing and hearing it but on the other hand are the crowd not just answering the challenge in the only way they can?

    Absolutely brilliant pictures.

    • Yes that is a good point however in formal maori protocol you can definitely return a challenge but they do not tend to interrupt. That would Immediately lead to blows. but yes, in the modern world waiting is not that easy.. c

  11. I watched the game and enjoyed the TV commentary, though I did not understand a lot of it. I have never been to Soldier Field, and your photographs show just how impressive it is! After reading the many comments here about the American response to the Haka, my blood boiled a bit. This is exactly why I do not attend sports events any longer. It is not about sportsmanship nor appreciation for the opposing team… rather boo’s, yelling and disrespect are often witnessed. I find many fans to be arrogant and lacking courtesy. I am sorry for that.

  12. So nice to know that! I love ferns…they grow everywhere here…I have a thousand of them in my yard and gardens. I put the fronds in my fall bouquets…so beautiful! I love that the Kiwi gal had one on her cheek! 🙂

  13. Womderful – love me a good game of rugby! And this is what sport should be like. We saw the Olympic final fo the basketball 2 years back Spain vs USA and although Spain lost we were sat between a couple from Washington and an another from South Africa who were supporting Spain and we were all cheering each other (from the cheap seats too!)

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