Blues call on fans for silence in Super 14



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In the wake of the All Blacks’ matches in Ireland and the silence that fell across the crowd when kicks were taken, Eden Park and the Blues would like to call upon local fans to do the same for home matches in the upcoming Super 14.

Blues CEO Andy Dalton believes the magic of the crowd at Munster struck a chord with New Zealanders and presented a very positive portrayal of the Irish and Munster fans on the global stage.

‘The atmosphere at these stadiums is absolutely electric. Then when the eerie hush falls across the ground, it just adds to the excitement and drama. We want our fans to be part of that experience. Whether it is for local matches or internationals, we’d like to call on New Zealanders to adopt the same approach.’

One man who has been the target of that sudden hush at Munster is former Auckland and All Black first five-eighth, Grant Fox.

‘It’s quite an amazing experience. You feel the eyes of everybody in the whole stadium on you and to be honest, it’s a little unsettling. I had never experienced anything like it,’ Fox recalled.

Eden Park and the Blues call upon our rugby supporters to follow the Irish fans and rather than cheering (or jeering as is often the case) at kicking times, instead fall silent.

‘This is not something new ‘ it is reinstating an old Eden Park tradition,’ said Eden Park General Manager, Murray Reade. ‘During the early days here at the Park, the crowd became silent whenever kicks were taken, out of sportsmanship and respect for the players. We think bringing this tradition back will be good for the game and enhance the Eden Park experience for both fans and players.’

Blues Marketing Manager Grant McKenzie believes that in a nation of fervent sports fans such as ours, this call-to-action will be grabbed with both hands by rugby supporters.

‘We all saw how effective the silenced crowd was in those two games, so why not do it here? If this adds to the drama of the game-day experience, then that’s what we are after. I’m confident with Rugby World Cup 2011 on its way, our rugby faithful will be keen to embrace this move in the coming season,’ said Blues Marketing Manager, Grant McKenzie.

Eden Park and the Blues will be working together to help drive this initiative in the 2009 Super 14 and to create awareness for rugby supporters at home games – including the two matches at North Harbour Stadium.

The Blues first home match at Eden Park is against the Sharks on March 7 as the team play their first three rounds in Perth then South Africa.

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