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Kiwi Corner: Episode #3, Return of the UK’s most popular Rugby 7s column written by a New Zealander. Warning: The fulla who writes this column has changed eh. He used to be cool, used to be choyce…shame…! For those who don’t know, New Zealand is made up of two major islands. There are many similarities to the people of both, but also many marked cultural differences. So I welcome you to “Kiwi Corner’s Guide to Working out Whether That Kiwi I Just Met Is a South Islander or a North Islander.” Disclaimer: The differences I am going to focus on are based on horrible and offensive stereotypes, I take no responsibility for any perceived personal injustices anyone may feel…it is supposed to be a laugh! Section One: Bro or mate? If a person refers to you as ‘bro’ often…

and I mean… “S’up bro? Bro can you pass me the T-sauce bro? Chur bro.”…there is a pretty good chance you are talking to a North Islander. There are a couple of exceptions to the rule. The person may be a South Islander who went to university and was infiltrated by North Islanders. In this situation, usually by the end of O week every kid, no matter how posh or

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Central Otago Farm-ish is calling every mate he/she has ‘bro’. A mate of mine scored a chick about 3 weeks into first year… she was ‘bro’ this, ‘sweet as’ that, and even said after sex once: “Chur, awesome sex bro”. Turns out she went to the prestigious Rangi Ruru School for Girls (yes that is as pedigree as it sounds!) in Christchurch! Another exception is rugby. You can pretty much guarantee that on the pitch in NZ, the term ‘bro’ rules. I myself fall into this category, having been a ‘mate’ man to the age of about 18. After a few years in the melting pot of the wandering footy player I can’t help but go with ‘bro’. Now, if a person refers to you as

‘mate’… and I mean… “Our ya gaan mate orrright?”… There is a very good chance the man/Sheila you are talking to is a South Islander.

If someone says this you

just reply with the same… similar to “How do you do?” in the UK, the intention is not to actually find out how someone is, just to greet them. Section Two: Rugby approach (yes this column is actually about rugby!) There has been a great deal of debate

recently in New Zealand, spurred by some comments by ex All Black Andy Hayden, over the way the game is played in various parts of NZ, but more importantly by the different ethnic groups who play it. His comments went along the lines that the Crusaders have an iron cast policy that you pick three players of Polynesian or

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Maori descent to provide flair and then you pick the rest as a hard core of no frills grinding type Pakeha (Maori word meaning: people of European descent), players to make the decisions and do the hard yards. Andy Hayden is famous in his ability to articulate words in the worst possible and most offensive manner, but some of his base assumptions are correct. Rugby in the south island is, in the

main, a fitness based, high work load, highly skilled and structured game, played at great pace and based on efficient catching/passing and execution of basic skills to a high level. In the North Island is tends to be a far more flair based, still highly skilled but perhaps more impacting in contact and exciting stepping/running type game, where freakish skills and big hits are more common place. It is no coincidence that the bulk of the Maori/ Polynesian players in NZ ply their trade north of Cook Strait. So, if you run into a Todd Blackadder

type at a 7s tourney, he has just made 1341 tackles, hit 521 rucks, has a cut up face, looks like he was born in the depths of a ruck and greets you with a slowly drawled “Our ya gaaan mate?”… I would be picking that he is a South Islander. On the other hand, should you run into a Ma’a Nonu hot stepping, ‘everyday I’m shuffling’ type fulla who greets you with “Chur bro” and a wink, the smart money is on the North Island. Till next time folks, Chur…out.

62 / / Issue 4

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