Mum and Dad Tracy and Dave Willetts, who are Highlanders supporters, face off against sons Sean (11, left) and Michael (15), who support the Crusaders, at the pre-season game between the two Super 15 sides in Oamaru yesterday.
You could call it a house divided - on one side Mum and Dad
supporting the Highlanders and on the other their two sons,
who are Crusaders supporters.
Tracy and Dave Willetts are the Highlanders supporters,
respectively migrants from the West Coast and Otago - Oamaru
in fact - to Christchurch.
Sean (11) and Michael (15) are Christchurch-born, so their
loyalty lies with the Crusaders.
All this makes for some competitive times in the rugby
season, although the two sons' favourite was on the receiving
end of a 38-21 beating in the pre-season match at Whitestone
Contracting Stadium in Oamaru yesterday afternoon.
Mrs Willetts said the family tries to get to as many
Crusaders matches as possible, particularly against the
Highlanders, whether in Christchurch or Dunedin.
While Mr Willetts is a born and bred Highlanders fan, he said
his wife was a ''fence-sitter'', from the West Coast but
supported the southern team.
The family was among about 5000 rugby fans who turned out to
the match, with about half staying on for the Bog Rocks Music
Among those at the match were 83 pupils from Waihi boarding
school at Winchester - virtually all the pupils.
Only four were unable to attend.
The first weekend after school starts all pupils stay at
school, so the chance for them to come to Oamaru - all on one
double-decker bus - was too good to miss.
Their support was pretty evenly divided, with a good
representation of pupils from Otago and Southland to balance
out the Cantabrians.
The stadium oval was a colourful sight, not only with many of
the crowd dressing or waving flags for their sides, but also
with about 30 corporate tents spread along the west side of
The atmosphere was further improved by letting the crowd on
to the southern and western ends of the ground, close to the