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EDITORIAL: Maori All Blacks Always Live Up To Expectation

It could not have come at a better time even if took seven years to materialise. The Maoris All Blacks test against the Vodafone Flying Fijians on July 11 in
14 May 2015 08:10
EDITORIAL: Maori All Blacks Always Live Up To Expectation
fijisun.com.fj

It could not have come at a better time even if took seven years to materialise.

The Maoris All Blacks test against the Vodafone Flying Fijians on July 11 in Suva is great news for Fiji Rugby and fans.

Since the first test between the two teams in 1938, the Maori All Blacks always live up to the challenge.

And this is another unique opportunity as the Maori All Blacks always bring a different brand of rugby which is not only beneficial, but thoroughly enjoyed by Fiji rugby fans.

Those who watched the 1979 clash in Suva can recall how the rugged Maori prop Billy Bush stood up in a fiery clash with big Josateki Savou.

And in 2008 in Lautoka, Liam Messam and his men stayed in the middle of park opting for the game to continue after Churchill Park was almost unplayable because of the strong winds and heavy downpour. They won 11-7.

The two sides have played each other 28 times with the Maori All Blacks winning 19 matches, lost seven and drawn twice.

And the wonderful rivalry over the past 77 years will continue to benefit the two teams in terms of development.

“This is great news,” New Zealand Maori Rugby Board chairman Wayne Peters.

“We’re very excited to be returning to Fiji where we’ve enjoyed a wonderful rivalry over 77 years. This match will be a great celebration of the proud rugby history we share and again underline the strong ties between Pacific rugby and New Zealand rugby.”

FRU chief executive officer Radrodro Tabualevu has no doubt the match will live up to expectation.

“This is guaranteed entertainment for Fiji, come July, and we are delighted to once again host the Maori All Blacks.”

The Maori All Blacks last played in Suva in 1996 and they were the first rugby team to play at the then, newly renovated National Stadium just before the 1979 South Pacific Games.  That team was captained by famous All Blacks prop Billy Bush.

Maori All Blacks coach Colin Cooper said Fiji would be tough and will be looking to turn in a top performance. “This’ll be a real challenge for the boys and we’ll need to be on top of our game.”

Vodafone Flying Fijians coach John McKee said the test would be timely, especially with the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) and 2015 Rugby World Cup in England coming up.

After the World Rugby Pacific Challenge in March, it’s time to be excited again. The 7 years wait end on July 11. Ticket pre-sales will begin online at noon tomorrow from TicketDirect www.ticketdirect.com.fj

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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