Leading into this Fridays on of Test between Australia and New Zealand, we have once again been told by anyone wearing a small, flightless bird on their t-shirt that they ar proud to play for New Zealand and to be a Kiwi’s Test player.
Pull the other one!
For well over 10 years now the commitment of New Zealand players towards the ultimate goal of becoming the best Rugby League playing nation in the world has been laughable.
We have seen players deciding not to play for New Zealand because of personal feuds with possible teammates.
We have seen players turn out for Pacific Islands nations, then New Zealand, only to turn their back on the Kiwi’s and commit to playing for Pacific Nations once again.
We have players insisting they are New Zealand through and through, but they want to play State Of Origin.
We have players who retire from Test football when it suits them, then un-retire, then retire again, then un-retire, then retire again.
We have seen players put in a number of lackluster performances.
We have even seen Australian born and bred players having more passion to play for New Zealand!
So all this rubbish about Kiwi pride gets no where with me.
I mean, this is a country that has decided it will not longer play a mid season test against Australia because its “A beat up”. The logic is that, despite the same preparation time, the Kiwi’s are at some type of extra disadvantage to Australia in these games.
About the only disadvantage they have is that they are weak and gutless while Australia is not.
And how about performing well just when they feel like it?
They win the 2005 Tri Nations, the first time they (Or anyone else) has beaten Australia since Moses was a halfback, and what have they followed it up with?
Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada!
It all culminated in a disaster at the end of 2007 when they were completely and utterly humiliated by Australia in New Zealand, and then they went across to the UK and managed to make a team of Poms (And one Samoan) look like they could actually play Rugby League!
Where was the pride then?
Once again, its selecting. They are proud when it suits them.
Now I’m sure being confronted by this will upset some people. Quite frankly, I don’t really care. These are all facts, we have seen it played out over a decade and its been a complete disaster that has seen the game in New Zealand brought to its knee’s.
You have to wonder what happened to the players that really did take pride in their performances in the Black jersey. The players that were no names until they dragged on the Kiwi jersey, the players that went toe to toe with Australia.
Yeah, maybe they didn’t always used to win either, but they played their guts out against opponents that were in a completely different League from them. They never let Australia have an easy game, they never took a backwards step, and they would do anything they could to get out there and take the game to the Aussies.
Now, with a team full of professionals that play at the same level as the players selected in the Australian test squad, they Kiwi’s are just about classed as easy beats!
How on Earth did that happen?
We’ll find out on Friday night just how much fake pride the current New Zealand lineup feels like showing against the Kangaroo’s. I personally think we are seeing a repeat of the lead up to the 2000 World Cup when, in 1999, New Zealand looked well on track to be very hard to beat, but come 2000 they got completely slaughtered by Australia in every game they played.
What ever the case, the fact remains that no one has any pride in the New Zealand test jersey, and thats a real shame.