Most people that pick from my accent that I don’t come from America will ask me where I’m from. Others will ask if I’m Kiwi or Aussie whilst a few are brave enough to guess where I’m from right off the bat. It seems people are reluctant to offend me and those that guess I’m from Australia are quick to apologise. So what is it between Aussies and Kiwis and our relationship?
I think of Aussies as my cousins. In fact, I have some Australian cousins and my brother and his family live in Sydney. The two countries are close with economic ties too, with Australians able to live and work in New Zealand and vice versa. We have fought and died alongside each other in world wars in places like Gallipoli, Turkey.
But when it comes to sport the friendly relationship sours somewhat. Unfortunately I have to report that Australia beat the mighty All Blacks in rugby last night, ‘stealing’ the game with a last minute try to win 26-24. This ended the 10-game winning streak of the All Blacks versus Australia running back a couple of years. It also ends the All Blacks 15-game winning streak against all teams. However, if there is one incident in sport between Australia and New Zealand that sums up our relationship it is the under arm incident in 1981.
Kiwis like myself love to go on about this moment in sport almost 30 years ago to prove a point, that Aussies sometimes are very good at sport but sometimes the words ‘unsporting’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘cocky’ are used to describe their teams.
Here’s a video of the incident. For countries that don’t play cricket the sport is a little unusual. But watch the clip, my favourite part is when Brian McKechnie throws his bat away in disgust. You have got to love the old uniforms too.
In a rematch played years later this happened:
The piece of sporting equipment used by the batsman is called a box. It is used to protect the family jewels from the cricket ball which can be bowled as fast as 150km/hour (90 miles/hour).
Then what do Australians think of New Zealanders? I expect that they think of us as their poor relatives and a country where sheep outnumber people 15-1. I found this clip on you tube that I thought was quite funny. 100% pure NZ refers to a marketing campaign to attract tourists to New Zealand. We do actually have an army and navy although it amounts to about 6000 soldiers and our air force has about 6 helicopters and two transport planes!
So in truth it comes down to a friendly rivalry. I don’t mind when I’m called Australian (when I’m overseas that is). I have friends and family in Australia, just they had better not win the rugby world cup next year!