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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

New Zealand Maori All Blacks start tour well with good win over Canada

Canada hosted the New Zealand Maori All Blacks on Sunday as part of the latter's tour of North America. Despite Canada scoring first, the visitors scored six tries to win 40-15 in front of over 20 000 fans in Toronto.

Halfback Jamison Gibson-Park scored twice after a late switch to the starting lineup after Piri Weepu was ruled out with a knee injury shortly before kickoff (but still led the Haka).

Weepu has since returned home, as has hooker Hika Elliot, who picked up a neck injury midway through the first half. Tasman hooker Quentin MacDonald will replace Elliot, while Wellington halfback Chris Smylie will come in for Weepu.

Canada were expected to play a tighter game but surprised the Maori side by spreading the ball at every opportunity, and managed to score early on. They couldn't maintain it though.

"When they got an opportunity, they converted it. When we got an opportunity, we didn't quite nail it,'' said Canada coach Kieran Crowley, whose team now heads to Europe to meet Georgia, Romania and Portugal. The Maori team will play the United States in Philadelphia next weekend. 

The official highlights below cover the Haka, some of the chances and all the tries

Credit: rugbycanadacomm
Time: 7:58

Posted at 1:30 pm | 18 comments

Viewing 18 comments

finedisregard November 05, 2013 2:48 pm

Somebody straighten me out, is the term "Maori All Blacks" new? I always thought that the name "All Blacks" referred to only the men's 15 a side national team (not 7's, women, or developmental teams).

Whatever they are, they should wear black boots not the queer fancy colored ones!

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Benny November 05, 2013 3:24 pm

They "rebranded" last year so the Maori and Sevens (and maybe the junior, probably not the women) became All Blacks as well. I assume it was done to increase their marketing value as it all happened at the same time as the AIG sponsorship.

Quite a few of the forwards wearing blue boots too. Liam Messam recently in an interviewed mentioned that Richie gave him the death stare when he was considering putting on a pink training shirt. Only for the backs he was told. I haven't noticed if the AB forwards wear fancy boots or not

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kadova November 07, 2013 9:16 pm

I read the story and saw a photo about the pink shirts too. Exactly, the shirts were not all pink, there was some pink in them.It looked that Richie McCaw was not informed of that in advance and he discovered them on the pitch. And he was not happy because he's supposed to be the skipper, after all :o)

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Rugbydump November 05, 2013 3:29 pm

Yep, they were officially changed for branding reasons.

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Tyler Ref November 05, 2013 5:25 pm

I'd like to point out the brilliant officiating at 3:45 that Federico displayed to play on, when it looked for all money like it was thrown forward by black. Our big screen in the stadium was not connected to the TMO, and nobody could see it, but the ball clearly came off of Nanyak Dala's hand in that scenario. There were 20'000+ pissed off Canadians, but the call was bang-on. Kudos Mr. Anselmi!

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Guy November 05, 2013 5:40 pm

That was one entertaining match to watch, really enjoyed it! Both sides threw everything at eachother. The win was deserved but I thought the scoreline was a bit flattering for the Maori All Blacks in the end. Canada had quite a few excellent pieces of play too, quite an exciting team to watch!

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Ottawa Rugger November 05, 2013 6:12 pm

If that pass had gone to hand rather than put down (near the mid-point of the video), and if it weren't for the risky pass inside rather than go out of bounds (by the fullback near the end), it could have been a very different result. I suppose you can say that about any game, but having been at the game, it really was actually pretty close.

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iamaj8 November 05, 2013 6:15 pm

Glad to see a growing strength of rugby in Canada, players and fans alike!

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stroudos November 05, 2013 8:41 pm

Haka - about 1:03 one of them is definitely laughing!! Ha haaaa!!!

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stroudos November 05, 2013 8:51 pm

Looked like Canada tried to force things a bit. Few big loopy mis-passes and rushed ones, where a simple draw-the-tackler-and-pop-an-easy-pass would have been more effective.

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Canadian content November 06, 2013 4:18 am

Actually it was sloppy hands and naive chip kicks that killed us. Defence was pretty good. Don't know why Hearn was subbed off as braid played terribly. Good exposure to top level rugby for some if the boys. Onwards and upwards!

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paimoe November 06, 2013 8:19 am

I was incredibly disappointed with how many dropped passes Canada had. Really basic stuff that they just butchered

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ConnachtMan November 06, 2013 9:47 am

Great to see 20,000 at a match in Toronto, I remember the days @ Flectcher ( aka Feltcher) fields watrching Canada v Wales and only about 2,000!
The CFL Grey Cup was originally a rugby trophy.....

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Stubby November 06, 2013 3:27 pm

record numbers for a rugby match in North America. i was sitting 40 seats to the left of the camera.

I HATE THE FALL NATIONAL FAIR for screwing up traffic around the stadium and making parking almost impossible. DAMNED HORSE LOVERS. I missed the HAKA!

Sloppy passes. Butter fingers. Passing to people standing still just to be swarmed by black jerseys or not passing at all !!!
I know we were missing some big names but oh wells.

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Stubby November 06, 2013 3:32 pm

Forgot to mention one of the MABs punching the back of head one of the Canadians after a tackle. Thought for sure the side ref has seen it.

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dave November 06, 2013 6:27 pm

what's holding canada back from getting into the bottom of the tier 1 nations is that they lack professionals in the tight five, they seem to be able to attack well and they've got some back rowers and backs in the aviva premiership and the top 14, if they can get this going and improve their drift defense they'll be a tier 1 by 2019

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ruckinmaul November 08, 2013 9:00 am

where is DTH van der Merwe?

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