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Hamiltron 101: a ten point guide for Brumbies fans

Across the ditch in NZ, the locals of Hamilton are preparing to welcome Brumbies fans ahead of Saturday's Super Rugby final. ANGELA CUMING from our sister newspaper the Waikato Times has written the tourists this ten-point guide to Hamilton, explaining everything from the city's nickname 'the Tron' to what beers to order.

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The Brumbies will arrive in Chiefs country this evening to begin the countdown to Saturday's Super Rugby final against the mighty men in red, yellow and black.

As they hail from some far away place known as the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), we thought we'd put together a quick beginner's guide to life, and rugby, in the Waikato.

Here are 10 things Canberrans need to know.

Locals affectionately call our fair city 'the Tron'. The name is a shortening of 'Hamiltron: City of the Future', which was coined during a radio competition run by local radio station UFM in 1999, to get a new nickname for Hamilton in response to the Council's desire for a name to replace, 'Hamilton: More than you expect' .    

They aren't just for cows. We Waikato folk love 'em, especially at a game of rugby. Cowbells were always a tradition at Waikato Rugby Union games - players are known as 'Mooloo men' and their mascot is Mooloo the dairy cow. Chiefs fans have been quick to adopt the cowbell too, so expect a cacophony of cowbells on Saturday night. We especially love ringing them every time the opposition lines up to kick for goal. Just ask Dan Carter. And it saves our voices too, so we can better celebrate the win after the game.

That's the standing-room only grass terrace at the Seddon Rd end of Waikato Stadium. It's frequented by students after cheap tickets and beer and the most loyal and passionate of Chiefs supporters. Best to avoid the area if you are in Brumbies colours.


It's the little things that make our language so different and unique. Here's a quick guide to avoid socially awkward situations. Chur means cheers or thank you ('Chur, bro'). 'sweet as' is a universal expression meaning everything from 'yes' to 'all good' and you put cold things in a chilly bin, not an Esky. Oh, and we wear jandals here, not thongs.

Beers are ordered in 'handles' (that's a pint) or Jugs. If you're after a half pint, say it quietly. And in the Waikato we drink Waikato Draught. No Crown Lagers thank you very much.

Hamilton loves them and has beauties that would rival the best Canberra has to offer. We'd explain to you all the road rules that accompany the entering and exiting of our roundabouts, but the locals forgot the road rules years ago and operate on a more 'sort yourselves out' mentality. Good luck!

It's best not to mention him. At all. Unless, of course, it's to talk about his limitations as a referee, and if you do expect a few beers to be shouted in your honour.

You Canberrans love him, we get that. But here Mr 'Four More Years' is only slightly more popular than Wayne Barnes. When the All Blacks won the 2011 World Cup a giant sign appeared in the Waikato that read 'Hey Georgie Gregan, four more years till the Wallabies lose again'. That should tell you everything you need to know about bringing his name up with the locals.

That's not a state of mind. It's one of the Tron's finest watering holes, a genuine Irish pub, and it's co-owned by a couple of Chiefs players. They'll wind up there after the game, no doubt. And if you do too expect a late finish. No one leaves before 3am.

Hamilton's a great city that, like Canberra, people are far too quick to make a judgement on. So enjoy it, and everything it has to offer. Yes, we are rugby mad here, but so are you. So don't mind those cowbells. Rug up warm for the big game and get out there and have fun with us. And may the best team win.

(Disclaimer: that will be the mighty Chiefs but congrats for making the final).

-from the Waikato Times