Rugby Crowd Appeared to Behave Well

Rugby Crowd Appeared to Behave Well

However cliché, it seems rugby really was the winner at the end of the day

The deafening screams of thousands signalled the start of something wonderful last Saturday. At 4:35 pm, with Covid-19 restrictions loosened just the day before, Forsyth Barr Stadium opened its various gates to the rugby-starved masses. This gave students their first taste of life in the Zoo this season. 

Many seemed a bit miffed to pay the $24-a-ticket entry fee, but then spent several times that amount for beer pong cups of Speights at the bar. Stands were packed with yellow-and-blue clad fans, who were either ardent supporters of our ‘Landers, or very politically active but slightly confused allies of Ukraine. 

Freshers and third-years alike revelled in the spirit of the game, with a dogged Highlanders unit valiantly battling against a technically-superior Blues side. The six legitimate rugby fans in the Zoo probably had an enjoyable time, but for everyone else, the game provided the perfect solution to the question bothering many a breatha over the past few months: Where can I combine sport and getting shitfaced? Sure, the Alhambra rugby ground was fine as a temporary solution, but compared to the Zoo, it never really had a chance (although it had far superior catering, to be fair).

Surprisingly, despite the explosive combination of free-flowing booze and feral, caged-up freshers, it seemed to be a pretty responsible evening. Mackenzie Faulks, a spokesperson for the Highlanders, told Critic Te Arohi that “we received positive feedback from our security company that the crowd in the Zoo were very patient and in good spirits.” He added that “we loved having the Zoo back and look forward to going bigger and better on Friday 8th April when we play Moana Pasifika.”

Though the Highlanders didn’t walk away with the win this time around, students seemed in high spirits. One told us “alcohol was 100% necessary to get the full experience.” Others, though, seemed happy to be high on life, quietly savouring the walk home as their way of transcending grief. 

Overall, the event was void of the controversy we’ve come to expect on the mean streets of North D. As one wise student said: “It was an end checkpoint to red light, a yellow light for orange light, and a green light for rugby.”

This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2022.
Posted 5:48pm Friday 1st April 2022 by Hugh Askerud.