Why is a win not just a win anymore?

We struggle at times, it seems, to accept that a victory is a victory and while analysis is important -- we like to talk about what we did well, and what we could we do better, I think we sometimes struggle to celebrate a victory for what it is. Simply a victory. Lets take that win.

Increasingly, too, we are far from gracious in victory. The Lions tour is an example of that.

Have a look at some of the comments on social media. We mock, we jeer, we have ridiculed the Lions.


They're a side that's been drawn from a number of countries, they're struggling to find their feet at the moment, and so we put the boot in.

They're an embarassment, we say. A joke. Are they? Really? We have short memories, I think.

We may have won the last two rugby world cups, but boy, there were a number of spectacular failings along the way, and we crucified those teams, the captains, the coaches too.

The Lions' fans are among the best in the world. When I've been overseas and lucky enough to watch tests at Twickenham, at Millennium stadium, and the old Lansdowne Road, the fans have always been incredibly hospitable. More often then not, their national sides are monstered by the All Blacks - not always - but often. And the English, Irish and Welsh fans can't do enough for you.

At Twickenham I've been invited to car boot parties after the game, the Irish won't let you buy a drink, and the welsh are the same. Gracious, accepting, and despite the result, they're eager to engage and enjoy the occasion for what it is - a brilliant sporting moment.

I hope, whatever happens in the test series here, we find some grace.

And the same goes for the America's Cup too.

Oracle Team USA present a far greater challenge to our sailors. And all we can hope for is an epic battle out on the water and hopefully, hopefully, we'll come away with the cup.


But if not, I hope we can stand back and accept that it wasn't our day. It wasn't our regatta.

It's a peculiar thing about New Zealand fans. I'm not sure why it is? Is it because we feel defined on the world stage by our sporting teams? If they fail, do we feel that as a personal failing? I'm not sure. But we could learn a lot from the Lions' fans.

It's sport, it's fantastic, but at the end of the day, win or lose, we gave it everything and surely it's better to cheer than mock or sneer.

Rachel Smalley hosts Early Edition on Newstalk ZB