WHEN they swapped the pastures of New Zealand for the beaches of Mandurah, these Kiwis also discovered an unlikely love for AFL.
Cade and Robert Steward are in sport heaven right now. Their beloved All Blacks just beat Argentina in the Rugby World Cup and their new love, the West Coast Eagles, are grand final favourites.
But they did not always love AFL.
When Cade followed his uncle to Mandurah to live, he was less than flattering toward the Aussie made game.
Now he is a one-eyed West Coast supporter.
When Rob thought about following an AFL team, he was attracted to Hawthorn as they had just won the premiership.
The West Coast Eagles were experiencing a lull at the time and were not attractive to the New Zealander.
“I started following the West Coast Eagles because my wife told me I had to or she wouldn’t marry me,” he said.
“It was even written into our vows that I would watch West Coast games with her and love her team.”
There are similar arrangements in Cade’s house.
“But I’ve come to genuinely love the Eagles,” Robert said.
He was there in the crowd to cheer the Eagles during their win against Hawthorn in the preliminary final.
“Rugby is our national sport. It’s our heritage, we grew up on it and can’t help but love it,” Robert said.
“I’ve come to appreciate AFL for the athleticism, the different player’s strengths and the types of athlete produced from it.
“When you move to a new country the key to fitting in is following their national sports.”