MIKE ROKE: This Lions tour don’t impress me much


In a rugby mad nation such as ours this statement I’m sure will go down like a cup of cold sick, but I really don’t care about this British and Irish Lions tour at all. I will qualify that by saying I am not a huge rugby fan anymore, but I used to be.

I have slowly been falling out of love with rugby for the last decade or so and there is a few factors behind it. The constant fiddling with the Super Rugby format, the fact the country's best players don’t play in the NPC (or ITM Cup or Meads trophy, I forget what it's called these days) and oddly enough the complete domination of international rugby by the All Blacks.

We New Zealanders are very proud of our national rugby team - and rightly so. A quick Google search reveals in the All Blacks complete test history they have won 77% of their 550 games. That is absolutely incredible. Almost 4 out of every 5 games played, the AB’s win. If you look at recent history they are even better. Since the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final the All Blacks have played 68, lost 4, drawn 2 and won 62. That is a 91% win record.

The All Blacks have got so good that none of us expect them to lose. Not only that, but no one really expects anyone to challenge us. This must be what it feels like to be a Harlem Globetrotters fan.

The last time the Lions toured here in 2005, there was a completely different feeling to the tour. There was more hype and excitement. The whole country was abuzz in anticipation. The Lions fans hired every campervan in the country, followed their team and had a party in every town along the way. I have not had any sense of that this time.

By the way, the Lions lost the series in 2005 3-nil, which included a thrashing in Wellington thanks to one D. Carter.

I don’t see the result being much different this time. The All Blacks will win and they will win easily. The closest the Lions will get will be the 2 seconds after kick off when it is still 0-0.

I will still watch the All Blacks tests because I love watching them play, and I think I could watch them performing Kapa O Pango over and over again. But as for the rest of the tour…. Meh. Oh well - I guess I’ll watch the America’s Cup instead.

Oh wait. I don’t care about that either… sigh.

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Mike Roke is technical producer for Drive with Alison Mau, weekdays 3-6pm.