Canterbury, it could be argued, is the sporting capital of New Zealand. (I said 'could be argued', calm down...)

But its red-and-black fans, although parochial, famously one-eyed, are arguably some of the worst live sports watchers in the world.

Apart from a cliched, and now generally ironic, chant of 'Cannnnn-ter-burrrrry', they prefer to sit quietly and demand to be entertained.

If the action isn't very actiony, maybe a Mexican Wave or waving of free flags. They love to boo their pantomime villains of course - Carlos Spencer, Quade Cooper, Wayne Barnes. But that's about it.


That's where UK does it so well.

The British and Irish Lions fans have brought a whole new dimension to the live-viewing with their tour down under.

The culture of singing wasn't transported to the dominions along with rugby union, gorse bush, and stoats.

Welsh boyos singing, the witty Gatland Army chants, and rallying war cries of Lions! Lions! Lions! roar and urge their white-shorted team on.

A British Army rugby team were in fine voice in Cathedral Square this afternoon.

Posing for a photo, I asked them if they had a team song.

Immediately, they tucked inside their striped jackets and produced a booklet featuring lyrics of 15 pub classics.

"Build Me Up Buttercup!" one cauliflower-eared monster suggested.


"Come on Eileen!"

They settled on Hey Jude.

They were terrible. But it was brilliant. Onlookers and passersby were smiling in the winter sunshine. Who doesn't like grown men singing?

We need more singing. And less stoats and gorse.