Maori All Blacks deserve better

19:56, Dec 02 2012

The Maori All Blacks win over Canada deserves praise and is a reminder of the depth in Maori rugby at the moment.

The team that took the field against Canada was really a 2nd XV with no current All Blacks and half the squad didn't have Super Rugby contracts so they were very inexperienced.

The Maori were comfortable winners although people may well say it was only Canada.

People need to remember that Canada is rated just behind Italy in world rugby and last year beat Tonga at the world cup.

Tonga beat France at the same tournament and of course we all know how close France came to depriving us of glory last year.

So congratulations must be given to the Maori team and coach Jamie Joseph in particular for doing so well with such a bunch of rookies.


Putting that to the side though, it really is time for me to give the New Zealand Rugby Union my annual rev up.

The tour was not good enough, it was tokenistic and Maori officials should have asked for much more.

Playing English club champions Leicester, then the best English second division players before Canada was OK but pales into insignificance when you look at who the Pacific Island teams were playing.

And of course we had to play without 10 of our current All Blacks.

While the Pacific teams played the French, English, Welsh, Scots and Irish with crowds of up to 50,000 people watching and mass media coverage, the Maori played with virtually no publicity and small crowds watching them.

It's not the way the Maori team should be treated. However, it is consistent with the disrespect that has been shown to them by the NZRU.

Next year it doesn't get any better and there's nothing planned yet for the team, so the question has got to be asked: "Why is it so hard for the dimwits who run New Zealand rugby to schedule a meaningful series of matches for our team?"

Would it be so hard for them to plan games for the Maori All Blacks against Samoa or Tonga or even Fiji. But then I shouldn't be surprised by their lack of initiative should I?

After all they treat Pacific Island rugby with contempt and disrespect. The All Blacks never travel to the islands to play. No island teams can get a look in as far as Super Rugby is concerned.

And the NZRU is more concerned about building Argentinean rugby than looking after our Pacific brothers.

If they can't give Maori rugby the games and priority it deserves then maybe they should consider handing over that responsibility to Maori. Surely we couldn't do any worse than them.

Manukau Courier