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How superstitious are New Zealand’s rugby fans?

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New Zealand rugby ball and trophy

Whether it’s All Blacks’ former fly-half Grant Fox, who always claimed the same spot in the dressing room, or ex-Lions and Scotland back-rower Simon Taylor, who never started a game without imitating Bruce Lee’s kung-fu moves — superstitions in rugby are legion. But what about the sport’s supporters? We’ve put our luck to the test and asked over 1,000 New Zealand rugby fans about their superstitions and rituals.

Nz Rugby Superstition Infographic

New Zealanders turn out to be quite down to earth when it comes to superstitions and lucky charms. Only 15% of Kiwi rugby fans consider themselves superstitious. Of all New Zealand Super Rugby teams, The Hurricanes have the most superstitious supporters. The Chiefs are in second place and The Blues in third, followed by The Crusaders and The Highlanders in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Taking the blame

But to what extent do we feel responsible for a dramatic defeat? Of all superstitious respondents, 19% have sometimes blamed themselves for their favourite team’s losses. For example, when they forgot to wear a lucky shirt or didn’t sit in a specific place during the game.

Most common rituals

From underwear to worn-out shirts, wearing a specific item of clothing is the most common superstition at 35%. Nearly a third (32%) of those surveyed believe that the company they keep during a match may influence the outcome, whereas 15% of the respondents choose to consume only specific snacks and drinks to gain a competitive edge. Listening to a specific song before the action is in fourth place with 12%, followed by sitting in a lucky spot during the game (6%).

Methodology

In February 2023, we surveyed 1,006 New Zealand rugby fans; 52% of our respondents identified as female, 47% as male, and 1% as other.

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