Rugby is a sport of grunting, which perhaps explains the inarticulate and inspiration-less way we support our national team.

I know I'm a moaner.

A win's a win and I should leave it at that. But so far at least, while the quality of the rugby exhibited by the visiting Lions has been mixed at best, it'd be hard to deny their fans beat most All Blacks' supporters hands-down.

But for a dash of nostalgia, the atmosphere is what makes attending Lions games so special for New Zealand fans.


The singing and yahoo-ing. The baying, banter, and blind faith. We might enjoy home advantage, but anyone with ears knows the Lions' supporters do a louder-and-prouder job of supporting their team.

"Why Oh Whyyy, Delilah?" they wail, arm in arm, in victory and defeat.
"Cos after alllll, you're my Wonderwalllll."

The Lions might not have a national anthem but like most European sports fans, they make up for it in colour and noise, and their own songs on the fly. The meekly co-ordinated "All Blacks-cha-cha-cha" just doesn't have the same effect.

I feel for New Zealand Rugby on this one. Their efforts to introduce an official supporters' song for this tour were about as likely to succeed as I would be in trying to create my own nickname. Try as I might, "Anything-But" Tame is never gonna catch on.

And splendid as Tutira Mai Nga Iwi undoubtedly is, they should have learnt from their rival's past efforts to introduce an official Lions song.

The Lions 2005 anthem, which nobody anywhere remembers, died a merciful swift death and hasn't been heard since.

These things have to happen organically. No crazy Turkish football team officially commissioned a supporters' song. You don't light flares and get tattooed with your team logo because you want to be treated like you're at school.

No matter what happens on the field for the rest of this tour, we're condemned to second-best in the stands.

Decades of lameness cannot be overturned in couple of weeks.


It's a shame really, and not only for those who enjoy blasting their vocal chords for a cause. If we could support the All Blacks just a little bit better, imagine how good they would be?

Jack Tame is on NewstalkZB, Saturdays, 9am-noon.