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Rugby: Hurricanes vs. Sharks

Rugby is, quite probably, the biggest sport in New Zealand.  Sure, there are some cricket fans here or there, and a Kiwi will like soccer just as much as the next non-American.  But whether you’re cheering for the national team, the All Blacks, or the local Wellington Team, the Hurricanes, everyone’s sure to get into it.

This particular match was the Wellington Hurricanes vs. the South African Sharks.  It was held over a month and a half ago at the end of March, but I’m just getting to posting it now (since my North Island trip took precedence).  It was my first rugby match ever (including on TV), and let me tell you, I was (and still am) confused.

From what I gather, rugby is sort of like American football.  You have a bunch of guys on the field with a ball (like a football but with the ends rounded off), trying to get it down to the other end of the field (which is about the size of an American football field).  Unlike football, you can’t pass forward, but have to either run with the ball or do lateral passes (to the side or backwards).  When you get tackled, there is some sort of reset time (like the four downs), but I really couldn’t follow just how these worked, and the reset time was very short compared to football.

Oh, and there’s no padding.  It can be brutal.

Westpac Stadium Entry

Westpac Stadium in Wellington

Westpac Stadium

Westpac from the Inside

Pregame Stretch

A Sharks member stretching before the game. I think we sat on the wrong side because nearly everyone around us was cheering for the Sharks

Cheering

The Hurricanes

The Hurricanes getting a huddle going during a timeout.

Rugby

A scrum

Unfortunately, the Hurricanes ended up losing this match to a field goal in the last few seconds.  Still, it was a really interesting experience to actually see a rugby match.

Full Set: Rugby: Hurricanes vs. Sharks

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