Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The All Blacks were in commanding form against the Italians in both teams' opening game of the tournament last saturday. As good as the All Blacks are known to be, I don't think anyone expected such an impressive display against a side that can be competitive in the Six Nations.
One of the possible reasons for the 76 - 14 massacre was that when it came time for the traditional Haka, the Italians snubbed the New Zealanders by huddling instead of facing it and showing respect. This fired up the All Blacks even more.
Luke McAllister and Chris Jack have both said that they felt that it was disrespectful to not face it, although every team has their own way of doing things. Jack said they do it more for themselves then the opposition, but felt the traditional Maoris wouldn't have liked the way it was treated.
The ex-pat New Zealanders in the Italian side, Kaine Robertson and Paul Griffen, both admitted it was a mistake to not show respect the Haka .
Although Italian captain Marco Bortolami was not so sure.
"I think we showed the All Blacks too much respect," he said.
Below is a compilation of tries from that game.
Music is Yngiwe Malmsteen's 'I Am a Viking'.