It's a rare day that you find yourself in Stockholm and wish you were in Pukekohe.

I missed the chance to celebrate the glorious Ranfurly Shield victory that brought the Log o' Wood to Counties territory last week. It's been a long time coming. Though Otago's brief shield reign a few weeks earlier ended 56 years of hurt, Tana Umaga's men ended a forever of hurt for Counties fans. We'd never had the shield before.

Meanwhile, there I was, in Stockholm.

Most Kiwis don't travel domestically for sport. Though the turnout at Super 15 matches is seldom as tragic as some pundits would have you think, most of the people in the crowds are locals. Those cheering the visitors have probably shifted towns.


In Europe, vast legions of fans can recite national rail timetables, so passionate are they about following their soccer teams. For Kiwis, even the national game can't motivate us to travel for sport.

It's a shame. Sport incites great passions and it's a great reason to get out of town.

Anyway, as Counties' shield reign stretches out over the next few years, you'll have the chance to visit Pukekohe.