Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks



  • Lima's departure has hit me hard. Not because of my unquestionable fanship for the AB's, but for what it is as part of a movement which has gathered serious pace.

    I just had dinner with my neighbours (in UK) of which one recently went to a dinner with Eddie Jones. One of Jones point was that England players strive to play for England, as that is the pinnacle .... but NZ players don't strive to play for NZ, they strive to be great All Blacks. He said that NZ has such a unique rugby culture, that nobody should ever ever beat us.

    Now look, I'm not stupid enough to think that EJ's comments aren't 100% about building himself up so that when the inevitably do conquer us (be realistic, we are facing them end of season at twix, i can't see us winning, they are a fantastic rugby team), but I'm not buying that 100% of our current team buys into what has historically made us what we are.

    How many of the current team do really really buy into what I think the team are selling. I'm not saying Lima has been treated great or anything, but to how may of the team does being a great All Black (and naturally a great NZer) actually mean anything ... ? Maybe it's time to start really asking that question of the players. There is no right or wrong answer, but the playing for country of heritage has gathered some serious steam since Taumalolo in the RLWC and, paralell, that does make the discussion worth opening.

    The Fern's pal, Elita Fullofshit Samoan, has pushed the themes of players playing for their heritage as opposed for their country of birth and has been supported strongly by both ex and current AB. IT's a big movement, it cant be ignored.

    I strongly belive in the one country laws, strongly. You shouldn't be playing for the AB's to boost your earning potential north. LS has clearly done this. And if in 2 years he wants to play for an island nation, then same as Piutau, I will fight against it. NZ All Blacks should be the pinnacle. Not the stepping stone.



  • Sopoaga's is a new low. A dick move. The most selfish I have ever seen.

    I think I'm fairly reasonable and don't actually get upset at players moving on (usually). E.g. I was disappointed in Piutau moving but not offended, and thought Hansen was wrong in 2015 to not pick him for the RWC on 'ethical' grounds. But this is poor.

    The worst timed since John Timu. The difference being John Timu wasn't already an extremely rich man. Sops is a very rich young man who by abandoning ship 1 year earlier can get a potential leg-up on his mates to be just that little bit richer.

    Sopoaga owed some loyalty to his coaches, team mates & employer. IMO. He's shown poor character. That's my assessment.

    First-five. It's not kick lock, midfield or the tight-loosies where there are 2 positions to develop depth. First-five is a singular position and he has fucked us around by using up time and resources with no intention of staying the course.



  • Hate to see Lima go. But he hasn’t played a lot of rugby the last year. He’s getting into later 20s, probably counting down the days he has left in his life to make a real income. Is that selfish? Yeah. Is it wrong? Depends. We’re all selfish, to one degree or another.



  • @salacious-crumb said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    Hate to see Lima go. But he hasn’t played a lot of rugby the last year. He’s getting into later 20s, probably counting down the days he has left in his life to make a real income. Is that selfish? Yeah. Is it wrong? Depends. We’re all selfish, to one degree or another.

    Yeah. I realise I'm probably coming over a bit pompous and entitled.

    I can have some empathy.

    I work in IT contracting. I'm not usually contracted for the entirety of the length of the project. Towards the end of your contract you may get a different offer from somewhere else for money and you take it. I've done that. But I've also come to the conclusion now I'm older that it's worth sticking it out to the end of the project and seeing it through for reputational reasons.



  • He's not a shoe in for the ABs and wants to maximise his earning potential while young and uninjured. What's the big deal exactly?



  • I'd had a few reds when I wrote the above, but Lima leaving is the catalyst, not the point I was trying to make.

    The point is, are the All Blacks the pinnacle for the current players, or just a stepping stone to lucrative contracts elsewhere. I think there is a mix, and I don't like it. I'm not meaning to focus on the pacific island boys, as plenty of others have left earlier too, but combined with all the media coverage from the RLWC, it is in focus.

    A few years ago when he was the starting AB tighthead, Tialata told me over twitter he'd always support Samoa over New Zealand. I thought that may have been isolated, but I'm starting to think now that it wasn't.

    I get it. You have allegiances to both countries, and you go for the one which will give you the biggest global exposure. But surely that does limit just how much your heart is actually in the game in you'd openly support another team over the one you are playing for.



  • This post is deleted!


  • Maybe Lima thinks Mounga is about to pass him or has already and I don't think there is any indication he will move ahead of BB so decided the time is right to cash in on his market value instead of hoping for an injury to BB



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    Maybe Lima thinks Mounga is about to pass him or has already and I don't think there is any indication he will move ahead of BB so decided the time is right to cash in on his market value instead of hoping for an injury to BB

    No doubt, and I think that is he point @MajorRage is making. Some players aspire to make the All Blacks to be great All Blacks, others aspire to make the All Blacks to increase their market value. There's both, and understandably so, but the players just wanting to increase their market value can be a waste of time and effort trying to develop them if they plan on buggering off early.



  • @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.

    You got in first T! I'm sure most players still aspire to having a great AB career, since the days they ran around the yard in bare feet. But there is only room for 15, 26 if you count the squad and there is the constant threat of being supplanted by a young turk for those on the fringes. In the amateur era there was no plan B, now you can be lucky enough to play a few games for the ABs filling in for injury or absence and spin that into a 7 figure a year contract up North. Hard to compete with that. The timing is shitty for the ABs though



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.

    I 100% agree with this.

    But I hold them to an unwritten 'don't jump ship 12 moths out if you've absorbed resources and games' rule.

    I have no issue with cashing in, or even using the ABs to increase your value. As long as that is not timed detrimentally.

    I can see that Lima thinks Ritchie may be on verge of surpassing him and he can see selectors want to develop DMac as the bench specialist. But we all know plans get scuttled.

    He can go in 24 months time with no repercussions or ill will. He can go in 12 months time letting down a lot of people .



  • @rapido Hes given the ABs nearly 12 months notice before he is departing. Its almost two years til the World Cup.

    Perhaps the ABs should have picked a specialist 3rd 10 in the Rugby Championship/EOYT 2017 - they would then be in a better position. That isnt Lima's fault.



  • Non competition clauses could also be written into contracts if you really want to get picky.



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.

    Yup, I don't begrudge them for leaving. Big money involved. I can also understand the frustration at them leaving though.



  • @no-quarter yep, woulda been nice for him to stay on, but with potentially >twice as much money on offer...

    non-competition clauses?



  • Some pretty butthurt posts here. Everyone needs to be realistic. The game has moved on since Pine tree was playing. Players don't 'owe' anyone anything.



  • @mn5 when the Tree was playing was about when you at least watched rugby too!



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @mn5 when the Tree was playing was about when you at least watched rugby too!

    I'm younger, slimmer, taller and less grey than you. Please take your lame trolling efforts elsewhere.

    The tree retired six years before I was born.



  • @mn5 fuck yeah

    Has fame/entertainment/self entitlement got to the point that people can't recognise the difference between their own lives and someone elses?

    @MajorRage your original post was immediately recognisable as a "I've got something to say" at the end of a few drinks high - I been there



  • @mn5 sorry king of the comebacks...forgot you are such a verile young athletic young stallion



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @mn5 sorry king of the comebacks...forgot you are such a verile young athletic young stallion

    You mentioned young twice. Have you been drinking while watching the cricket? 🙂



  • @mn5 what kind of lightweight could get drunk watching the cricket? (BTW only saw Pakistani score, no idea if they batted first)

    Posting on a phone does that.



  • @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @mn5 what kind of lightweight could get drunk watching the cricket? (BTW only saw Pakistani score, no idea if they batted first)

    Posting on a phone does that.

    It would have taken some extra strong brews to get hammered watching Pakistan bat.



  • Ditto most of the above.

    Shitty for the ABs that he’s going, but let’s be realistic it’s unlikely that he’d ever get the 10 shirt ahead of BB, and depending on how the super 5 plays out, he may not even get a bench spot any more.

    There is always someone else who will step up, so thanks for your service Lima, make hay while the sun shines.



  • @rapido said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.

    I 100% agree with this.

    But I hold them to an unwritten 'don't jump ship 12 moths out if you've absorbed resources and games' rule.

    I have no issue with cashing in, or even using the ABs to increase your value. As long as that is not timed detrimentally.

    I can see that Lima thinks Ritchie may be on verge of surpassing him and he can see selectors want to develop DMac as the bench specialist. But we all know plans get scuttled.

    He can go in 24 months time with no repercussions or ill will. He can go in 12 months time letting down a lot of people .

    Who is he letting down? He's done some good stuff in an AB jersey and if he wants to fuck off how is this any different to the hundreds who've done so before?



  • @mn5 said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @mn5 what kind of lightweight could get drunk watching the cricket? (BTW only saw Pakistani score, no idea if they batted first)

    Posting on a phone does that.

    It would have taken some extra strong brews to get hammered watching Pakistan bat.

    Unless you had to scull/skoll/skull (how to you spell that?) finish your pint with each wicket.
    6 pints in half an hour ...



  • @mn5 said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @rapido said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.

    I 100% agree with this.

    But I hold them to an unwritten 'don't jump ship 12 moths out if you've absorbed resources and games' rule.

    I have no issue with cashing in, or even using the ABs to increase your value. As long as that is not timed detrimentally.

    I can see that Lima thinks Ritchie may be on verge of surpassing him and he can see selectors want to develop DMac as the bench specialist. But we all know plans get scuttled.

    He can go in 24 months time with no repercussions or ill will. He can go in 12 months time letting down a lot of people .

    Who is he letting down? He's done some good stuff in an AB jersey and if he wants to fuck off how is this any different to the hundreds who've done so before?

    Hundreds?

    I can't think of any, but there probably is one he two, who have left a year before a World Cup. I've compared it earlier to Timu who is the only other I can think of.

    But someone else has pointed out he is giving a years warning that he ha bailing a year before world cup, and that that is a fair point.

    Ive said earlier in thread how I actually think Piutau was harshly treated in 2015. So that should give an idea how 'I' think it is different. But I could see how Piutau's treatment by AB selectors could make a Sops think bugger it, there is no good time.



  • So who will finish his career happier: Lima Sopoaga or Stephen Donald?

    If you play for the money, you may end up richer, but unlikely happier. It's not like Lima is badly paid at present.

    Piutau is loaded, but misses playing for his country. He should have thought about that when he decided to play for the ABs in the first place, so I have zero sympathy.

    I'd put money on Lima regretting his choice eventually.



  • @rapido How was Piutau harshly treated?



  • @chester-draws said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    So who will finish his career happier: Lima Sopoaga or Stephen Donald?

    If you play for the money, you may end up richer, but unlikely happier. It's not like Lima is badly paid at present.

    Piutau is loaded, but misses playing for his country. He should have thought about that when he decided to play for the ABs in the first place, so I have zero sympathy.

    I'd put money on Lima regretting his choice eventually.

    To quote the great David Lee Roth, “No, money will not buy you happiness. But’ll it buy you a big f#ckin’ boat to sail right up next to it.”



  • Different people are motivated by different things I guess ,

    Some will look at their careers as an opportunity to maximize their earning potential , retire with as much as they can , some will seek happiness by achievements ,

    Lima could hang around , he could even end up playing in the 10 jersey in a WC final , funnier things have happened ,
    or he could even miss selection altogether , who knows , there are no crystal balls ,

    He has decided to grab the cash on offer , his call ,

    I am concerned by the constant player drain though , we have survived it well so far , cant help but wonder , sooner or later it might take its toll .



  • @rapido said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @mn5 said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @rapido said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @taniwharugby said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    @no-quarter I'm not sure he has played solely to drive his value. I expect if circumstances were different and he had nailed the number 10 spot he would have likely stayed on longer.

    Some are content being an ab and living in nz, others want a different challenge and depending on family circumstances Europe with higher pay and less strenuous travel requirements would be mighty appealing.

    I 100% agree with this.

    But I hold them to an unwritten 'don't jump ship 12 moths out if you've absorbed resources and games' rule.

    I have no issue with cashing in, or even using the ABs to increase your value. As long as that is not timed detrimentally.

    I can see that Lima thinks Ritchie may be on verge of surpassing him and he can see selectors want to develop DMac as the bench specialist. But we all know plans get scuttled.

    He can go in 24 months time with no repercussions or ill will. He can go in 12 months time letting down a lot of people .

    Who is he letting down? He's done some good stuff in an AB jersey and if he wants to fuck off how is this any different to the hundreds who've done so before?

    Hundreds?

    I can't think of any, but there probably is one he two, who have left a year before a World Cup. I've compared it earlier to Timu who is the only other I can think of.

    But someone else has pointed out he is giving a years warning that he ha bailing a year before world cup, and that that is a fair point.

    Ive said earlier in thread how I actually think Piutau was harshly treated in 2015. So that should give an idea how 'I' think it is different. But I could see how Piutau's treatment by AB selectors could make a Sops think bugger it, there is no good time.

    If you count fringe ABs then it gets in the hundreds.



  • @kiwiinmelb said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    I am concerned by the constant player drain though , we have survived it well so far , cant help but wonder , sooner or later it might take its toll .

    I think it has taken a toll already. People like Faumuina, Luatua and Piutau would all have been handy on the EOYT. It's hurt the Jaapies and it's hurt Oz and it will hurt us.

    If Beaudy breaks his leg during Super rugby, we're going to be scratching around with Mo'unga and DMac - or wasting caps on Lima. And how about if someone turns up with $10 million for Beauden?

    Now, I think there's no doubt that at some levels having people bugger off overseas is a benefit to NZ rugby. It helps clean out the mediocre and ageing - and opens up pathways for the younger and better. But, people who are among the top two or three in their positions hurts us.

    I don't give these guys a free pass - they're sell outs so fuck 'em. They're taking our collective intellectual property and they're cashing in our culture.

    I think we should send them on their way with a boot in the arse and don't hurry back rather than a fare-thee-well and good on you for getting richer.



  • @majorrage I'm not sure why you targeted this thread at PIs, it seems you put too much stock in twitter exchanges and one discussion with Tialata (a guy who spent 6 years in the ABs playing 43 tests).

    Sopoaga hasn't ever said he wants to switch to Samoa (or the Cooks) and Piutau's wanting to switch as come after he shot his load. I think Piutau really thought he would have played in the 2015 RWC so likely could have started his NH contract as a WC winner, but he got that wrong. Hell Bundee Aki left and decided to play for Ireland.

    Also, it's not as if it's only PIs that ditch NZ in their prime. Hayman, McAlister and Evans left when they had years of AB matches to play. Recent AB 10s Tom Taylor and Colin Slade left recently and they were similar ages or younger than Sopoaga at the time.

    Also, I don't think there's any point making comparisons to league, the Kiwis have been an amateur shit show over the past two years and despite all the hype only three players on the Kiwis radar (JT, Fusitua and Taukeiaho) defected to Tonga and none of the Samoans did. The ABs are never going to be a clusterfuck like the Kiwis (unless Mitchell comes back or Hammett managed to somehow fall his way to the top I guess :)).

    Anyway, Lima is a loss, but Cruden was the bigger loss.



  • @chris-b I still think the biggest loss isnt necessarily frontline ABs, more those on the fringes of AB and definite Super rugby starters, these are the guys that leave bigger holes to fill as they are the ones who will end up playing rugby for thier province while the ABs are out and as such probably contribute better to the local scenes.



  • Ultimately the appeal of the ABs to the players is probably a lot closer to that of the Patriots, Storm, Spurs, Red Wings of the 90s and Warriors (the Golden State variety) than they myth/legend crap that gets trotted out by NH scribes and marketing agencies.

    Teams like the ABs provide a stable organization with a recent history of winning, a collection of elite players and top tier coaching. We've seen time and time again there is a group of players - usually the ultra driven ones - that will sacrifice money and fame to play in that environment.

    Unlike those professional teams that theoretically have an expiry date, as a national team providing we keep replenishing the cupboards with new talent (or run off our elite talent with a Mitch style coach) the sun should never set on the ABs.

    Not every player is wired that way and thank God for that because it makes it a lot easier to have them leave voluntarily than check out mentally and still be under NZRU contract.

    I have absolutely no issue with Lima leaving - he already missed RWC selection in 2015. I'm sure it sucked at the time but Lima doesn't owe the ABs or NZRU anything, especially given the role he has been given in the AB set up. He has no obligation to hang around and see if the he required for the next RWC when there is every chance he might get the Weepu 2007 treatment.

    The other thing we often forget, while not relevant to Lima, is that for fringe All Blacks Super Rugby and ITM Cup is a bulk of their "job". If you were playing in a toxic environment for the Blues at some point over the past 10 years I don't expect the two caps off the bench for the ABs as injury call up to weigh strongly in your decision making.



  • Thing is Salacious, they're not choosing between money and satisfaction. They're choosing between quite a lot of money with satisfaction and a bit more money. Stephen Donald won't be poor.

    Once you've made a bit the extra stops bringing much satisfaction. People with a million in the bank are happier than those with none, of course. People with two million are often less happy, because they've had to make too many sacrifices along the way.

    David Lee Roth is welcome to his boat. I wouldn't want it if it came with his string of broken relationships though.



  • @chester-draws said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    Thing is Salacious, they're not choosing between money and satisfaction. They're choosing between quite a lot of money with satisfaction and a bit more money. Stephen Donald won't be poor.

    Once you've made a bit the extra stops bringing much satisfaction. People with a million in the bank are happier than those with none, of course. People with two million are often less happy, because they've had to make too many sacrifices along the way.

    David Lee Roth is welcome to his boat. I wouldn't want it if it came with his string of broken relationships though.

    It's fine for him though, he's just a Gigilo, everywhere he goes.



  • @rotated said in Defining Who We Are ... NZ All Blacks:

    Teams like the ABs provide a stable organization with a recent history of winning, a collection of elite players and top tier coaching. We've seen time and time again there is a group of players - usually the ultra driven ones - that will sacrifice money and fame to play in that environment.

    A minor quibble. Fame you get playing for tge ABs.


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