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3 October 2014
Hi Keith, I can't believe how bad Wellington is and Auckland, despite some of their wins are not much better and even Canty has gone into a tail-spin. I believe there is a reason for this which none of the present cheer leading media can deduce.
First of all the Rugby Union puts all its focus on the All Blacks, and plays them at the same time as the ITM Cup. Imagine what Wellington would be like if more regularly it had Jane, Savea, Smith, Nonu, Perenara, Thrush and Coles.
It's also suffered a lot of injuries with players having no time to recover from the S15 because, again the NZRU's fault, they allow that competition to go on too long. So Wellington is without A Savea, Toomaga-Allen and Goodes. Similarly, look at Canterbury, with no first fives because the ABs take fringe players into their squad like Slade and Taylor, who hasn't even stripped for the ABs has he? And of course the constantly injured Carter.
I've liked the rise of Taranaki and Tasman in the ITM Cup, and Manawatu too, but it's partly due to the NZRU having lowered the standard of provincial rugby. It might be a more level playing field but it is also a recipe for mediocrity.
Oh well keep smiling; I'm trying to. (Name withheld by request) (messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org )
The 8-7 victory over France in Auckland was confirmed with a late (and now very famous) Stephen Donald penalty; and the nation which had waited 24 years went wild for Richie McCaw's team.
A Maori challenge, or war dance, which is traditionally performed by New Zealand rugby teams before their test matches. Vigorous, aggressive and intimidating, the haka was a ritual dance performed as much to fire up its proponents as to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy. In the rugby context, the haka issues to the opposition the challenge to play hard and well.
The first New Zealand team to perform the haka was the 1905–06 team in Britain. The 1928 All Black team in South Africa did the haka and the South Africans replied with a war chant of their own, being made up on the morning of the game!
New Zealanders know that when All Black teams are made up only of Pakeha players (Europeans), the haka is never performed with the vigour and feeling exhibited by Maori players.
Originally the haka was only performed by New Zealand teams when they were playing away from home, but when Scotland toured New Zealand in 1975 and later during the World Cup games in 1987, the haka was from then on always seen within New Zealand too. It is enormously popular in all the countries visited by New Zealand teams.
Two of Ireland's most famous players were known as Jackie Kyle and Willie-John McBride; what were the two 'proper' Christian names each man had?