Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

'Wake up': Kiwi scribe's message to New Zealand fans over turnout

By Kim Ekin
Ardie Savea of the Hurricanes leads his team off the field after warming up during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and ACT Brumbies at Sky Stadium, on April 28, 2023, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

A New Zealand rugby writer has called for the fans to take accountability for the low turnout between two of Super Rugby’s top two sides.


Whilst a sold out crowd in Hamilton created an electric atmosphere for the Chiefs Crusaders derby on Saturday night, the Hurricanes and the Brumbies crowd was disappointing despite the fact the two sides are second and third on the ladder.

New Zealand fans tend to prefer the Kiwi derbies which isn’t showing enough respect to the top Australian sides argued Jamie Wall.

“I think that a bit of that has to go on fans themselves, just not being able to make up their own mind or just simply not being interested enough in this competition,” Wall told SENZ The Saturday Session.

“That’s a good Brumbies team, there’s some really good players in there that are worth paying money to watch and they almost knocked off a (strong) Hurricanes side.

“There’s only so much marketing a Super Rugby team can do because they just don’t have any money for a start.

“I think the rugby community just needs to actually just kind of open their eyes a bit, stop buying into the fact that the only games worth watching involve the Crusaders or the Chiefs or whatever and just actually … wake up to the fact that at least the Brumbies are worth watching.”


The Brumbies knocked off the highly fancied Blues during round two in Melbourne’s Super round and sent a second string side to Christchurch in the loss to the Crusaders.

Before Friday night’s clash they were 6-1 on the season, and were well in the fixture against the Hurricanes until a late try to Aidan Morgan sealed the game.

Wellington’s weather can often turn the punters away but Friday night was a rare still night in the nation’s blustery capital.

The Hurricanes were also celebrating the 150th appearance of hometown hero Julian Savea to add to the occasion.


Wall believed that the glass has to be broken on the belief that Kiwi derbies are superior to Trans-Tasman clashes.

“I just think that there’s a narrative running through the media at the moment that if it doesn’t involve one of the top New Zealand sides then it’s not worth watching,” he added.

“That’s not fair, I don’t buy into that at all.

“Super Rugby is really up against it as a competition, a lot of it is its own fault but a lot more of it is kind of out of their control.

“A lot of the bad press that we’re getting about it is just because of the interference that the All Blacks have on the competition.”


“If you look at their record this year, they’d only lost one game going into last night and the games that they had played were actually really interesting.


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Max 414 days ago

I won’t go back to the Canes. My beloved home team. The barrage of tasteless music at every 10 second break in play is offensive and boorish. If Ardie went down injured, they’d blast away any concern or tension with music. His injury seems to be reclassified as an interruption to the “entertainment “ Disrespectful to the players. The passion and connection is lost in decibels of harsh rubbish. You can’t even have a conversation with the person beside you so inter-fan engagement is also lost. REAL fans have voted with their feet from live games.

Chris 415 days ago

What fans? Super rugby has been killed off slowly in the last 20 years. Look at the TV numbers.
Ilwe soled our soul to the overseas TV market, which meant kids have not grown up watching rugby NZ. Those kids are now adults not watching rugby

One day game a few weeks ago and look at all the families and the crowd numbers

Jackson 415 days ago

Agree afternoons is Rugby time. Sky putting up connection price to $104.++ makes radio the only choice for me living in the “ non games” venue area. Music & rules are killing the games. Refs are too reliant on the Tmo these days & wont make a call! Fiji was good example of “rubbish noise “wishing someone would push that B bugle down the operators throat. As well as the NZRU cock up with selection drama (another Robbie Deans era coming up) I’m just as happy surfing these days

Gerald 415 days ago

Super Rugger is becoming isolated, and boring. Never thought I would say this but watching NZ sides dominate games without real competition playing copy paste pattern of play is killing their game. Saffa sides got so lucky to be kicked out and playing in a real tourno with proper crowds and feel.

David 415 days ago

well tell him to wake up look at the ticket prices and what you get for them and rermember you need to have headphones and a radio to know what is happening. and then you get silly music for the price of a game with food and drinkand transporrtt its cheaperto get a six pack pizza and sky at home

Jayden 415 days ago

Cake tin simply to exspensive for beers and food ..drove down from hawks bay for hurricanes chiefs game ...will never go back

K 415 days ago

Attending games at the Cake tin/ Sky stadium is too damn expensive and always has been. 30 bux for a stadium seat for an adult is fine but when you're a family of 4 and a rugby match is almost 100 bux for an hour and a half of "entertainment" (which, let's be fair- is only an hour of rugby without all the stops and starts) the value doesn't seem that good when we could watch all the matches of the evening/season from the comfort of home for the monthly price of a sky sport subscription which costs the same as an adult ticket.
Rugby is the every man sport in NZ but unless you're flush with cash it's pretty hard to regularly support your SR team when it costs so much to partake in the fun

Dunnos 415 days ago

I might be one of the rare few who still actively and enjoy Super Rugby but it’s not without it’s problems. I do miss the SA sides, their different style and the challenge NZ sides had to travel and play there. Argentina brought passion and unpredictability which was great. Aussie sides used to be stacked with great players. Latham, Gregan, Burke, Larkam, Roff, Smith. Geez even I used to watch Aussie games to see their quality. Are they losing too many good players overseas with their Wallabies rule? Rules have changed though. It’s frustrating to me a team 5-10 metres out that an attacking team is pretty much guaranteed an advantage/penalty so what’s the point of defending if it’s almost certain a try will come.

Mark 416 days ago

Some these comments are true refs rules ruining game.... also the shear cost of going to a game getting a beer hotdogs and chips kiwi culture of only following winning teams could be a factor....

Maxwell 416 days ago

The game last week was (comparatively) packed. Maybe mid day / afternoon games are the way forward?

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE ‘GB men can be medal contenders in Paris – if they get there’ ‘GB men can be medal contenders in Paris – if they get there’