Enemies kept close on the terraces

16:00, Feb 12 2013

Cricket fans took over the grassy hills of Hamilton's Seddon Park yesterday as England and Black Caps fans kept their friends close, and their enemies closer.

Among the stilt walkers, samba players, food vendors and revellers, fans of either side were easy to spot, dressed in team colours or wearing flags like capes.

In a group of fluoro-Mexican dressed fans, it seemed they were all on the same side, united they dressed but divided they cheered, with an English fan causing a stir among their ranks.

"England is the world's best team, why would you cheer for the losing team? And you can tell everyone I said that, too," said James Robertson.

Robertson was born in England, and his Kiwi mates cut him some slack having come up with the grand idea to dress up after they missed out on the Sevens.

But the Kiwi boys stayed true, despite the odds being slightly against them.


"That's our home team, we've got to support them, they'll pull through," said Regan Kidd.

Across the other side of the pitch was a couple who know the rivalry all too well.

Linda and Alan Groves are happily married, despite the fact Linda is clad in black and her husband in red and white, and they waved their flags like nations going to war.

"I think it's just too deep rooted. It's where you're born, your home country," said Alan Groves.

"I love it in New Zealand, and I always cheer for New Zealand when they're playing Australia or South Africa ... just not England. You always cheer for your home country."

And Linda Groves did us proud when the couple lived in England, cheering black in a sea of English.

The pair quite happily have a bit of a go at each other, and Linda Groves quietly let her husband talk before slipping in a sly and confident, "Black Caps are going to win".

Waikato Times