New Zealand’s naked rugby team, the Dunedin-based Nude Blacks, lost for the first time in its nine-year existence on Saturday, beaten 25-20 by a clothed women’s team from Spain.
But there may be a clue as to how the visitors did so well. In the spirit of friendly competition, the ladies promised that for each try they scored they would remove an item of clothing.
Asked if they had let the visiting Conquistadoras score a few easy tries, Brad Henderson, a 23-year-old student, replied: ‘Of course.’
The all-amateur Nude Blacks – named for the country’s elite All Blacks side – played the exhibition game hours ahead of Saturday’s match between Argentina and England
The World Cup contest took place at the city’s 30,000-seat Otago Stadium.
But a more modest crowd of about 1,500 gathered at the rather less glamorous Kettle Park ground to watch the all-male team get outclassed by the visiting Conquistadoras, who count a pole dancer, a teacher and a student among their team members.
The all-girl side started out in blue shirts and black shorts, luckily their underwear was in co-ordinated pink layers, so even if they couldn’t guess, they could still tell what team they were on.
Founder Ralph Davies told news service AFP: ‘ It started as a joke as part of a backpackers’ festival. Here students are known to run across the streets naked in winter, so we decided to go further by playing rugby in the nude
‘Our first game was in 2002 in the middle of a dunes on a beach. We were frozen.’
But the offbeat game became more popular every year and now the Nude Blacks play an invitational side before every international rugby game in Dunedin.
The Conquistadoras visit came about after they won a competition to travel to New Zealand for a rugby tournament on ice after posting a video of themselves playing on the beach in Barcelona.
In the spirit of friendly competition, for each try the ladies scored they removed an item of clothing.
They gave no quarter to the ‘defenceless’ opposition, winning 25-20.
The Conquistadores’ Vanessa Pleguezuelos, 31, said: ‘It could have been a distraction but we played the match like any other.’