Just off the Skype interviewing an old mate of mine in Kiwiland, Wiremu ‘Bill’ Whatanui from Whangamomona; that’s pronounced ‘Fot-a-new-ee’ from ‘Fong-a-mom-manna’ for the uninitiated, about this weekend’s All Blacks v Springbok showdown.
Bill’s a rugby aficionado living in the wop-wops of the Taranaki, a wee way up from Stratford. Staunch rugby country bro’ – you know, Maori side step and ball in hand, who’s Garry Owen? Are there line markings on the oval? Rugby here is a little bit physical. He’s a real good sort and a bit of a dag.
Like most Kiwi rugby tragic’s Bill’s hero is Colin ‘Pinetree’ Meads, eh sorry it’s Sir Colin now. A colossus of the game in Enzed. Built like a tanalised fence post, well as thick as one anyway! That’s what he was spruiking in the 70’s to make a buck. He says that they don’t build them like him or his brother Stan any more.
Another favourite son was Billy Bush, the big bearded Maori prop from Canterbury – he reckons he was awesome. Good with a knuckle sandwich as well in the days when it was needed, especially in South Africa in ‘76. Ate too much kina, though. Of course, everyone idiolised THE Maori warrior Buck Shelford. Apart from that f*cker Grizz Wyllie who didn’t like Maori fullas, gave him the arse….bring back Buck!
LF: Where are you going to be on Saturday night Bill?
BW: Ah, this is when the whanau get together. I’ll have my feet up in front of the box having a waipiro or three. My three sisters Cheryl, Moana and Marie will come over with their mokopuna to watch the game. My boy Trevor will also be there with his gat.
LF: What’s the go with the match this weekend?
BW: Man, the Blacks have been tutae this year. Against the Italian stallions and the Frenchies they were all over the place like a fat wahine’s arse. Against the Springboks in South Africa they just got pressured into errors. We were monstered by Victor and Bakkies, who are ka pai, just awesome man.
Our lineout is improving but inconsistent. The scrum’s sweet as tho’. Skippy Robinson did the business on Johnny Smit last weekend, but I can’t wait for what the ‘Cock is going to do to him on Saturday. Man, ‘Cock lit your Fuse last time real good bro’ – he was choice. Turned him into whitebait!
LF: What about playing the game in Hamilton, of all places?
BW: Hamilton, man you’ve got to watch out for those Waikato Maoris cuz….the Tainui kid, aye. The Boks are better off sunning themselves over your way; they’ll only get their wallets fleeced up there. Mind you there’s probably more hori’s on the Gold Coast than in the Waikato.
It’s such a bare arsed place there’s only one thing to do in Hamilton, get munted. As Billy T used to say ‘one half of me is Tainui and the other half from Scotland, so one half of me wants to get pissed all the time and the other half doesn’t want to pay for it’.
LF: What are the All Blacks going to come up with Bill to stay in the Tri-Nations hunt?
BW: The Blacks will be looking for utu after getting walloped over in South Africa, aye. Dan the man is the best five eighth in the world. Stephen Donald is a tin-arse journeyman. He’s a bit of a piker. They’ve put him in at 2nd five eighth. Sure, he can kick a bit but when the pressure’s on he runs around like a headless pukeko, aye.
This is not the time or the level to put someone in a crucial position they’ve never really played before. A Nonu/Toeava combo would have been better. It’s enough to make me pack a sad.
LF: What about the Boks playing style?
BW: Springbok rugby is hoha, just kicking all the time, aye. That’s not the Maori way. But ten man rugby wins matches. The poms were doing it for years. As always they’ve got some big bro’s in their side. We need more hori’s in that scrum.
The games against the Wallabies freed up a bit and became more expansive, but that’s not the Boks natural style. Big Boer bastards running over the top of you is what they’re on about. I’m not sure our boys have the experience or mana for a game of this importance.
LF: If you do beat the Springboks this week without giving them a bonus point, how do you think you’ll go against the Wallabies?
BW: The Wallabies are only a judder bar on the way to the Tri-Nations trophy. They’re a bunch of pimply faced private school kids from Brissie, just making up the numbers, aye. No sweat, shouldn’t be too much of a problem cleaning them up at the Cake Tin man, they never win against the Blacks here. If the Blacks can pull it off….sweet as, I’ll be down the Whongamomona pub with my Prince Tui Teka records singing ‘hula, hula, hula to my ten guitars’.
If it goes cactus, Graham Henry will be up tutae creek without a waka!