A good moment on Saturday before the rugby match between Argentina and New Zealand. Just before the All Blacks started their traditional haka, Captain Sam Cane stepped forward and put a New Zealand shirt on the field with the number 10 and the name of the late football legend Diego Maradona on it.
The death of former footballer Diego Maradona (60) earlier this week has affected the entire sports world. The Argentinian is also thought of in the rugby world. When the New Zealand players got ready for the traditional haka for the Tri-Nations Series game, they decided to honor Maradona first.
Captain Cane stepped forward and put an All Blacks shirt on the center of the field with Maradona’s name and number 10 on it. The Argentinian players who stood arm in arm clearly appreciated the beautiful gesture and nodded in agreement.
“It was a sign to pay our respects to an Argentinian legend, also a world leader in his field,” Cane explained to The Associated Press afterwards. “Rugby is primarily a game based on respect and this was the respectful and right thing to do.”
Revenge for All Blacks
The idea for the tribute came from haka leader TJ Perenara. After putting down the shirt, he started haka with the rest of the All Blacks.
New Zealand had something to put right against Argentina’s Pumas. Two weeks ago, it lost to Argentina for the first time ever in the Tri-Nations Series after thirty mutual confrontations. This time they were not surprised and it became convincingly 0-38.