Takahue man Bruce Flood is not exactly living and breathing the Rugby World Cup, but his neighbour Greg Berghan is.

"According to Spark's instructions on the internet we could download their app to view the matches on our smart TV, but we have only a passing interest in watching the live games. We will listen out for the results later on the radio only," Bruce said.

"The flags outside Greg's place look quite spectacular though."

Greg was delighted to receive the positive feedback, although there is a small resistance movement. Flying the flags was as close as he and his sons Ryan and Dylan were going to get to Japan, but wife and mum Sherrie wasn't quite so enthusiastic.


"She would rather watch paint dry than go to a rugby match," Greg said.

Meanwhile, under cross-examination, he conceded that he didn't quite have the full set. There was an All Black flag, but not the one with the Southern Cross — "Too close to Australia's" — and he hadn't got his hands on Georgia's or Namibia's.

"They are very hard to get, and I was too mean to pay $30 on the internet," he said.

It had been suggested by "the boys" at a Sunday "church service," a weekly ritual involving the quaffing of a beer or two, that he should take the flags down as teams were eliminated, or perhaps cut them in half, but he didn't think he would be doing that after he, is sons and nephew Troy Berghan spent three hours putting them up, using bamboo poles he had obtained from Aubin Braithwaite. "I've put them inside a hot wire, so I doubt anyone will be helping themselves," he added.