Hong Kong fans ecstatic but Kiwis are already calling it a 'travelling circus'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, 12:00am

While Hong Kong fans were reacting with joy at the mouthwatering prospect of watching test-rugby, fans in rugby-mad New Zealand were united in giving the thumbs down to the battle for Bledisloe Cup.

One fan called it a 'travelling circus' while another decried 'this is no longer our national game'. The view among many was that it was a money-making exercise.

'Rugby is no longer our national game. It would appear it belongs to the highest bidder! I wonder if we will be able to afford games in New Zealand in the future,' Mikem from Auckland wrote on The New Zealand Herald website.

'This is so absurd it would be laughable if it were not so sad. The All Blacks and the Wallabies reduced to a travelling circus to cater for a wealthier international audience, while the poor old rugby public back home is shut out from involvement. A foretaste of what will now develop over the near future,' added another.

Frogman, also from Auckland, said: 'So, will the NZRU be hoping we don't wrap up the Bledisloe in the first two games [Sydney and Auckland]? If we win those, this Hong Kong fixture will be delightfully irrelevant - the Bledisloe will be over three months before this game is even played.'

Hong Kong rugby fan Nigel Clarke, however, was delighted at the opportunity to see two of the best teams in action. 'Brilliant. This is absolutely good news. I only hope we can fill the stadium,' said Englishman Clarke.

Les, from Wan Chai, added: 'At last we will get to see a high calibre game of rugby in Hong Kong. It will be party time, hopefully just like the Sevens.'