Cape Town – A high-profile New Zealand pundit has suggested
his country’s Sevens team were less than gracious losers to gold-medallists
South Africa in the Commonwealth Games.
The Blitzbokke won the Glasgow final 17-12 last weekend,
ending a monopoly on the title by the Sevens All Blacks stretching back to the
introduction of the sport to the Games in 1998.
But New Zealand Herald (www.nzherald.co.nz)
national newspaper sports columnist Chris Rattue was not impressed by the New
Zealanders’ conduct in defeat under a piece headlined “Excuses, excuses from
bad losers” on Thursday.
“The sights and sounds of our national rugby teams
struggling in defeat are rare but well worth the wait for those who like to
study the innuendo style of excuse-making,” wrote Rattue.
“One thing you don’t hear at times like these is genuine
praise for opponents, of being beaten fair and square: New Zealand rugby
expects and often gets the world to fall at its brilliant feet, but doesn’t
“South Africa were outstanding at the Games, with players
such as Cecil Afrika and Seabelo Senatla setting the tournament alight – (the
country) should be asking why it can’t incorporate more of this attitude and
spark into the 15s, where they insist on retaining tactical Neanderthals like
He said the Blitzbokke made the silver medallists look
“clunky and undisciplined” in the showpiece.
“The television commentators – including the brief All Black
Simon Mannix , who coaches in Ireland – had no trouble spotting South Africa’s
superiority. But hell hath no escape clauses like a beaten NZ rugby team; come
the final whistle and the usual verbal gymnastics applied.
“Captain DJ Forbes mentioned that Sevens was a fickle game,
something that doesn’t get such airtime when New Zealand are playing well.
“Legendary coach (Gordon) Tietjens and Forbes were on the
same whiteboard message, pointing out that there were nine New Zealand
newcomers to the Commonwealth Games arena. Excuses, excuses.
“New Zealand has an outstanding record in all rugby, and it
is one to be proud of and treasured. But a more obvious generous spirit to
match wouldn’t go amiss.”
*Follow our chief
writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing