NZ Culture - just how fanatical are kiwis about rugby.... ?

Does it compare to the Scottish and their love of football for instance? See enc for an interesting comparison...
An Article read out on the News Quiz I that I heard on the radio in NZ had me in stitches (no pun intended).

To check it was true I looked for evidence in the press and got a confirmation from Reuters which I have summarised here, so I guess it must have at least some truth.


New Zealand police in planning for the Rugby World Cup due in September 2011 have been looking at international comparisons round sporting event related violence.
According to reports they had been "horrified" by statistics from Scotland that showed an 80 percent increase in reported domestic violence following a Scottish Cup football final between Glasgow Celtic and Rangers.

Keen to see if this might be the case with the World Cup they looked at the NZ data. However whilst some local studies did show some small increase in “disorderly and violent offending" in the cities where games had been held, others did not with overall figures showing no increase in violence at a national level.

When asked about this data and the comparison with Scotland, NZ police superintendent Grant O'Fee reeled of this gem:
"Rightly or wrongly I took from that that we're not as fanatical about rugby as I thought we were".

Says it all really. Whilst the All Blacks dominate the game on the field, the NZ public undoubtably fanatical though they are of their national side are fortunately not quite as affected by it as the Scottish seem to be round football...