Return To Rugby Land

David Scott

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After living overseas for forty years an expatriate returns to New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup to report on matches and travel around the islands. But Return to Rugby Land is about more than the games and the scenery. Sport’s place in society, especially New Zealand society, is explored. The myths, psyche and anxieties of a small nation are examined. Comfortable shibboleths, including about Maori and women, are questioned. Return to Rugby Land is a personal account that offers a broad understanding of New Zealand, and the game that is at its heart, historically and now. Sometimes challenging and provocative, the writing is also insightful and heartfelt. A thinking sports’ follower’s book.

The e-book is also available via Amazon and Smashwords.

ISBN: 978-0-9573952-2-0


Summary of Return to Rugby Land Contents

  • Glossary of Maori words
  • Allow me to introduce myself
  • September 7 – arrival Auckland – not every NZer likes rugby – global minority sport – the colour black – childhood home – nostalgia and memory
  • September 8 – public enemies – central Auckland – the overseas experience
  • September 9 – ABs v Tonga – party central screw-ups
  • September 10 – NZ roads and accidents – history on the road – Rotorua, Fiji v Namibia
  • September 11 – Taupo-Wellington – 9/11 –monarchy and republic – South Africa v Wales
  • September 12 – Margaret Mutu’s comments – immigration
  • September 13 – Palmerston North – rugby museum – 1981 – innocence, history and culpability
  • September 14 – Waiouru, army museum – military history – other people’s wars – rugby and business – Samoa v Namibia, Rotorua
  • September 15 – Coromandel
  • September 16 – “minnows”
  • September 17 – Australia v Ireland, Auckland
  • September 18 – abusing Aussies and trans-Tasman rivalry – Wales v Samoa, Hamilton
  • September 19 – to Wellington – sport and art – sport and society
  • September 20 – ferry, Marlborough Sounds, Nelson – origins of rugby – history of rugby in NZ – Italy v Russia
  • September 21 – to Blenheim – wine – my home town
  • September 22 – Wairau Bar, Rarangi, Pukaka Valley, Tuamarina – old girlfriends – local heroes – dining out in Blenheim
  • September 23 – the Wairau Affray and Te Rauparaha – Shannon
  • September 24 –Samoans twittering and grievances – ABs v France
  • September 25 – can NZ hold RWC again – IRB priorities – RWC and rugby economics – Argentinian v Scotland, Wellington – Pacific Island rugby
  • September 26 – Te Papa – the haka – book shops
  • September 27 – sheep jokes – Maori culture and nationalism, its dilemmas and issues
  • September 28 – family trees – intermarriage – just all one people -- rainbow nation example – Sri Lanka cricket example
  • September 29 – retiring MPs – global rankings – Romania v Georgia, Palmerston North
  • September 30 – alternative flags and the jersey – the ‘brand’ and protecting it
  • October 1 – sporting loyalties – the loyalty police
  • October 2 – women in New Zealand and rugby
  • October 3 – the non-South Island trip – farmer backbone – Martinborough, Wairarapa-Bush, Eketahuna – Scandinavians and Dalmatians --grass roots rugby
  • October 4 – sports reflecting immediate society – national character
  • October 5 – Rena grounding
  • October 6 – Maori and discrimination – ‘victim mentality’ and bootstraps – race relations, plus and minuses – limits of Treaty settlements
  • October 7 – through Taranaki – alcohol impairment – role models – Pioneer Village – loving the land
  • October 8 – advertisements – France v England – English villains
  • October 9 – All Blacks v Argentina – Piri Weepu mania – South African foibles
  • October 10 – Rangiriri battlefield – Kawhia – Maori language – Meadsville – tall poppy syndrome – Rangatoa
  • October 11 – Waitonga Falls – NZ childhood and preciousness
  • October 12 – Passchendaele – best strategies for NZ in world wars – Esteemed brother-in-law v Mad Dog debate
  • October 13 – NZ independence – economic realities – China – political independence
  • October 14 – train to Auckland – who is a New Zealander
  • October 15 – Occupy protests – bad boomers? – class in New Zealand – France v Wales, Auckland – Welsh rugby
  • October 16 – Urewera raids – citizenship – ABs v Australia
  • October 17 – sports journalism in NZ and elsewhere
  • October 18 – Waitangi – the place and its meanings (and Kororaweka)
  • October 19 – Northland and its image – French clichés – other stereotypes – political correctness in NZ – racial delicacies – Maori and Pasifika in rugby
  • October 20 – Hokianga – Wai’s grave – suicide in NZ – Tane Mahuta – possums, road kill and environment
  • October 21 – cooking – choking – AB’s in the RWC – perceptions and strengths
  • October 22 – 3rd place playoff – Quade Cooper -- reasons to win
  • October 23 – coping – final AB v France
  • October 24 – sex in NZ – falling off the RWC bandwagon – a bit of post-mortem
  • October 25 – plane to Australia – ‘conclusions’