All Blacks gripe 'stunning'

2012-10-22 14:30

Sydney - All Black gripes about Australia poaching their players have been met with both astonishment and wry grins.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is fuming about Kiwis being "pinched" after Auckland product Mike Harris kicked the Wallabies to a surprise 18-18 Test draw in Brisbane on Saturday.

Hansen called for the Australian Rugby Union to get its house in order and stop stealing players after he was asked whether Harris's display embarrassed the NZRU's talent identification system.

"It's time you start developing your players in your own country," he responded.

A stunned Harris returned serve today by hinting at hypocrisy from the All Blacks who have consistently selected Pacific Islanders in the past, and also played former Australian under-21 halfback Steve Devine a decade ago.

"I was a bit surprised by Steve's comments," the 24-year-old Harris said.

"It's been going on for as long as rugby has been professional, and maybe even further back as well."

Harris wasn't the only former New Zealand underage player in the Wallabies team at Suncorp Stadium as prop Sekope Kepu also defected after failing to crack a Super Rugby start.

It was Queensland coach Ewen McKenzie who sparked the conversion of both and he believes New Zealand's rugby strength will continue to see overlooked aspiring products cross the ditch.

"They've got a lot of players," McKenzie said. "They've probably got too many players in some positions."

A flyhalf or inside centre, Harris was a member of the Blues wider training group while Sydney-born, south Auckland-raised Kepu was outside the Chiefs' contracted-player list.

McKenzie watched with more than pride when Harris kicked five penalties from five attempts and also made a fine fist of fullback against the All Blacks.

"I did have a bit of a giggle when he was kicking goal after goal - just as well we brought him over," he said.

"When I first spoke to Mike he was in the wider training group for the Blues, he wasn't on the fast-track to anywhere. He had three guys in front of him to play Super Rugby.

"It's worked out well for him."

Eligible to play for the Wallabies through an Australian-born grandmother, Harris said he had no regrets.

"As an aspiring rugby player you always want to be playing at the next level and if New Zealand had offered me a Super Rugby jersey things might have been different," he said.

"I'm very thankful to get the chance to play for the Reds and Wallabies."

Rugby Heaven

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-22 14:36

    Sour grapes by the All Blacks. Dan the man, missed a few easy kicks.

      lean.sadie - 2012-10-22 14:41

      Dan has never been that great of a kicker anyways, and he folds under the pressure or gets injured when it counts too. Look at the French game in 2007 World Cup. He is good, not a cheat like McCaw, but he is not the best kicker ever. And All Blacks talking about poaching is like South Africans complaining about the crime rate in other countries.

      tang.willemse - 2012-10-22 14:52

      Ja nee kyk, suurgatte. If they's don't win they blame all but themself! nzbro has been trying all day to explain how the AB's didn't poach, steal anyone. AB's are one-eyed mo-fo's!

      braam.groenewald.39 - 2012-10-22 15:02

      Sione Luaki and Sitiveni Sivivatu spring to mind. Both were not in nappies when they moved to NZ. Then there is a certain Greg Rawlison, White showed some interest and then Henry said, hey, I'm interested too so I'll let him play 4 games for us to screw over the Boks.

      dhirshan.gobind - 2012-10-22 15:17

      how many islanders have nz poached lol?

      dao.muangnoicharoen - 2012-10-22 15:17

      calling people cheats is like accusing teams of poaching and stealing players. the referees allow the richie to get away with his cynical tactics. they are the cheats. only wayne barnes has been able to stand up to the richie. players are not stolen from one team, the other team offers them a good offer - one that is better than what they are getting so no one is stealing anyone. stealing would be abducting them and using them for your gain. this is not eastern europe human trafficking, of which i am a victim.

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-22 15:34

      comments from nzboy and fat pam to follow, and look out fellow south africans, nzboy has had enough with trying to explain his side of the story. some harsh words might be used.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-10-22 15:35

      And NZ bought Bryce - wtf?

      tang.willemse - 2012-10-22 15:44

      Ja nee Dono, nzbro is coming with a bang. But not him, his auntie, his dog or parrot will convince us. He's just another one-eyed AB supporter!

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-22 17:00

      shot Tang boet il be ready and all the best to you, your mullet and that boney of yours.

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-22 17:25

      @lean. whatever china say what you want about backdoor mccaw and his skullduggery on the ground but he and DC are and will always be true legends. You don't score the most test points by being slack. Don't tar us with the same brush as those who support the darkness, respect where its due, just not to their supporters. Merhtens was born in SA

      tang.willemse - 2012-10-22 17:27

      Shot dono, give 'em hell bra!

      dao.muangnoicharoen - 2012-10-22 17:38

      the richie and the dan are far better players than any south africa has ever produced.

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-22 17:57

      @dao me so horny me ruv you rong time

      matt.jarvis.77312477 - 2012-10-22 19:47

      What's the big fuss about hey New Zealand?We all know the All Blacks always peak between RWC's,but the Boks and Wallabies focuses on the real thing. Case in point: Why were the All Blacks the only team of the former Tri Nations competition that were the last in winning a second worldcup?Also why are the All Blacks the only team of the three Southern Hemisphere Rugby big guns that fails to win a RWC outside their own home country?Also has anyone ever heard an All Black supporter congratulate another teams victory over theirs?The All Blacks have a reputation as very sad losers.They couldn't even score a single try against a weak Wallaby outfit. It figures right.People give them too much respect and credit which they don't deserve.

      warren.vanwyk.3 - 2012-10-22 20:16

      @ dono: Lmfao dude, rotfl!!!

      Caleb - 2012-10-23 03:40

      @ Matt, people give the AB's too much respect that they dont deserve??? Number one ranking in the world, for probably 90% of the time the ranking system has been implemented, RWC champions any way you look at it, Rugby Championship Champions, Bledisloe Cup Champions, TRI Nations Champs 10 out of 16 attempts, do i really need to go on? Sound like they deserve respect to me. And to top it off, all this with a quarter of the adult rugby playing numbers to pick from when compared to South Africa.

      James - 2012-10-23 07:46

      The All Blacks have every right not to accept defeat... because, well, they werent defeated!!

      Caleb - 2012-10-24 01:54

      Out of 1100 All Blacks to ever wear the Jersey, only 30 of them were born in the Polynesian Islands. I dont know where you get your facts from or if its just regurgitated bs that you heard somewhere, either way your wrong.

  • terry.burne - 2012-10-22 15:17

    Really - the All Blacks need to build a bridge - Really. If anyone has abused selecting players from other countries, the All Blacks have a history on that score, including Jonah Lomu! If you want to complain about players being poached - at the last few world cups there have been 6 or 7 countries that have played South African born players, including Australia, England, Scotland, France, Italy, USA, Canada - you name them and they have had SA born players playing for them. He also conveniently forgets that the NZ cricket team has got South African born players playing for them - not to mention that half of the England cricket Team are SA born players. So really Hansen - cry me a river!

      warren.vanwyk.3 - 2012-10-22 20:12

      @ terry.burne: You can add Germany to that list, Hans Scriba played for them albeit a good few years ago.

      Stormkaap - 2012-10-22 20:50

      And how south sea islanders are playing in NZ ? Plenty

      Caleb - 2012-10-23 03:43

      Jonah started playing his rugby for Wesley College in New Zealand and was born in Auckland New Zealand, stop being like every other Saffa and regurgitating things that are not fact. Infact, do any of you actually know how to do research, or do you just want to jump on the band-wagon?

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:51

      see below...

      gungets.tuft - 2012-10-23 14:56

      Caleb - but many, many other Islanders have run out for NZ, not born in NZ. Nobody was referring to just Jonah. NZ must learn to "not win" from time to time, with decent grace.

      Caleb - 2012-10-24 02:02

      As i posted above, 30 out of 1100 to EVER wear the Black jersey were born in these islands, and most of those would have come to NZ as kids who hadnt even picked up a ball yet. Polynesian Heritage does not mean they were poached at all. This is what i am getting at, yes of course there are others that have been born outside of NZ that play for AB's thats not disputed, but to say we poach and ravage the islands is plain incorrect. 80% of Samoa's rugby team in the recent WC were born in NZ, or is that fact just brushed over? So 2.7% isnt exactly many many islanders now is it?

  • Sammy Willow - 2012-10-22 16:34

    Andrew mehrtens was born in sa

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-22 17:20

      Was he??

      warren.vanwyk.3 - 2012-10-22 20:14

      @ dono: Yep, in Durban nogal.

      James - 2012-10-23 07:44

      Victor Matfield is maori!!

  • christopher.collings.9 - 2012-10-22 17:24

    lets not mention the players from Fiji, Samoa & Tonga playing for New Zealand.

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:10

      See below.

  • brett.petzer.3 - 2012-10-22 19:04

    Jeeez well stop stealing all the Islander players then,, if you did you guys wouldnt have a team to play with !!!!

      Caleb - 2012-10-23 03:44

      All the islanders, your ignorance knows no bounds.

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:11

      see below

  • matt.jarvis.77312477 - 2012-10-22 19:47

    What's the big fuss about hey New Zealand?We all know the All Blacks always peak between RWC's,but the Boks and Wallabies focuses on the real thing. Case in point: Why were the All Blacks the only team of the former Tri Nations competition that were the last in winning a second worldcup?Also why are the All Blacks the only team of the three Southern Hemisphere Rugby big guns that fails to win a RWC outside their own home country?Also has anyone ever heard an All Black supporter congratulate another teams victory over theirs?The All Blacks have a reputation as very sad losers.They couldn't even score a single try against a weak Wallaby outfit. It figures right.People give them too much respect and credit which they don't deserve.

      tang.willemse - 2012-10-23 08:54

      6 runs matt, well said!

  • gareth.smith.165685 - 2012-10-22 22:29

    What about NZ steeling players from all the Island nations?

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:11

      see below

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-22 23:30

    Like Harris said himself: Australia might stop "developing" players in New Zealand when the All Blacks stop developing players in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

      lean.sadie - 2012-10-23 03:22

      Interesting post for you lot from another Site. Morne Steyn has the worst winning percentage out everyone from the 2011 Bok team, did you know that, South african winning percentage fom 2003 to 2009 was never lower than 75% thats with how many different flyhalves, it was always roughly the same. Steyn took over in 2009 and from 2009 to 2012 South african winning percentage has never been higher than 58 percent, from 2003 to 2009 average of 40 tries scored per year, Steyn took over and 2009 to 2012 we score an average of 18 tries per year. Fourie du Preez Test career 2004 - 2011 Mat 62 Won 33 Lost 18 Draw 1 70% win ratio Morne Steyn Test career 2009 - 2012 Mat 41 Won 23 Lost 16 Draw 2 57% win ratio I tried to find someone who started in 2009 I could only find Beast from 2008 but they have the same amount of matches just played at different times. Tendai Mtawarira Test career 2008 - 2012 Mat 41 Won 27 Lost 12 Draw 2 69% win ratio CAN ANYONE REMEMBER MORNE STEYN WINNING US A GAME AFTER 2009, WITHOUT GOOGLING IT. I KNOW HE WAS IN GAMES WE WON BUT GAMES WON DIRECTLY BECAUSE OF HIS EFFORT. ANYONE

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:11

      see below

  • dan.mccaw.16 - 2012-10-23 01:08

    Why is all the bokke on this page concerned about New Zealand poaching pacific island players? At least the AB's are colourful. Not white and bleak like the bokke. New South Africa but we must still support a white springbok team. Never.

      lean.sadie - 2012-10-23 03:23

      Are you color blind? LOL LOL, Habana, beast, zane, mvovo, JP, Paulse, etc etc. Want me to name more? Well you live in PE, and you only got the queens, so I guess that says a lot.

      gavin.vandermerwe.39 - 2012-10-23 07:00

      Your right Dan, this is the new SA and we are the "Rainbow nation". Just one thing though...have you ever seen Black in a rainbow?

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-23 14:15

      JP Pieterson isn't coloured that oke is gold bru

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:04

    Let's unpack the "poaching" myth. At the 2011 RWC the All Black squad had only 4 players not born in NZ: Mils Muliaina (Salelesi, Samoa), Ben Franks (Frankston, Australia), Jerome Kaino (Tutuila, Samoa), Isaia Toeava (Moto'otua, Samoa). Not one Fijian or Tongan. Samoa had 15 players in their squad born in NZ: Census Johnston (Auckland), Anthony Perenise (Wellington), Olé Avei (Wellington), Daniel Leo (Palmerston North), Kane Thompson (Paraparaumu), Kahn Fotuali'i (Auckland), Jeremy Sua (Wellington), Tusi Pisi (Auckland), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Auckland), James So'oialo (Wellington), Ti'i Paulo (Christchurch), Filipo Lavea Levi (Hamilton), Junior Poluleuligaga (Auckland), Tasesa Lavea (Taihape), Paul Williams (Auckland) Look at Tongas's squad: Tukulua Lokotui (Auckland), Kurt Morath (Takapuna), , Ephraim Taukafa (Auckland), Thomas Palu (Wellington), Andrew Ma'ilei (Auckland), William Helu (Otahuhu), Siale Piutau (Auckland). And Fiji: Nicky Little (Tokoroa), Deacon Manu (New Plymouth), Michael Tagicakibau (Auckland) So, who is poaching whom?

      gungets.tuft - 2012-10-23 15:08

      That is 2011. Go back a few years to the Rokocoko's, Sivavatu's, Jerry Collins, Rodney So'oialo, Chris Masoe, Mils Muliaina, Sione Lauaki and Isaia Toeava. There are many more. New Zealand are being baby's.

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 22:56

      Go back a few more years and Tiaan Strauss switched from SA to Aussie and back to SA. Or to when Rhodesia and SWA were both Currie Cup provinces feeding SA. Fact of the matter is look at the accusation made today by today's hard facts. And, whichever way you cut it, NZ have always fed more NZ-born but PI-eligible players into all the islanders' rugby teams than the other way round. It's a ethnographic fact that there simply are twice as many Samoans living in NZ than there are still left living on Samoa (and the same goes for the Tongans). Only a tiny fraction are rugby players -- the rest are just ordinary folk doing ordinary jobs, usually at the lower end of the income curve.

      Caleb - 2012-10-24 02:03

      Well said blip, these are facts, there is no disputing them.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:09

    Compare "importers" (using foreign-born players) and "exporters" (native-born locals playing for another country). This is how the teams at the 2011 Rugby World Cup compare: Importers 15: Samoa (all from New Zealand) 12: USA 11: Italy 10: Japan 9: Tonga 8: England 7: Australia, Scotland 5: Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Wales 4: Ireland, New Zealand 2: France, Russia 1: South Africa 0: Argentina, Georgia, Romania Exporters 38: New Zealand 13: Australia, South Africa 6: Argentina, England 5: American Samoa, Samoa 4: Tonga 3: Fiji 2: Hong Kong, USA, Zimbabwe 1: Burkina Faso, Canada, Cote d'Ivoire, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Scotland, Uzbekistan 0: France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Namibia, Romania, Russia, Wales Those are the cold hard facts.

      hardus.steyn - 2012-10-23 08:55

      The stronger the rugby nation the more they will export - that makes sense..... and they will import less, as they don't need more Geographics around the Islands make it easier too..... but it is about a paycheck - if someone gets the opportunity - they will go - why not! .... But NZ should not complain if someone leaves if they have ever imported one player - they did not recognise the talent - tuff cookies - Some Australians did, and did something about it, good on them..... It's almost like saying stealing is wrong if steal more than what I do.... Because I steal less than you it's perfectly fine!

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 09:19

      The point is people don't "go" -- these NZ people were BORN there. They were there from the very day they were born.

  • Evaredy - 2012-10-23 09:35

    thats Richie coming from the kiwis where they have raided the South Sea Islands for years!!

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 10:26

      See above.

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