Scots 'cavemen' taunt sidestepped
Wednesday 07 November 2012
The All Blacks gave a quick sidestep yesterday to an assertion in their press back home that Scotland were "the cavemen" of international rugby.
Writing in The New Zealand Herald, columnist Chris Rattue questioned why the Scots were still granted Tests against the world champions given their "joke" record against them. "They play a turgid, ineffective game that belongs in a cave because their players have few skills," he added.
Scotland, who provide the opposition at Murrayfield on Sunday in the first match of the All Blacks' European tour, have never beaten New Zealand and have lost by an average of 30 points in their last 12 encounters.
Asked to comment on the caveman jibe, Ian Foster, the All Blacks' backs coach, insisted: "We have massive respect for Scottish rugby. It's got a great history. Scotland are a very capable team. We're aware of that."
Foster said that any danger of the World Cup holders being complacent had been checked by the 18-18 draw against Australia in Brisbane two weeks ago that ended their winning run of 16 matches. "It certainly felt like a defeat," he said. "We've done a lot of soul-searching. We'll learn from it."
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has picked locks Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton in his starting XV, both having returned to training following injury. "Richie will have a fitness test but we're confident he'll come through it," Robinson said. "I'm not going to put anybody out there who can't be 100 per cent in terms of their physicality and attitude."
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I place discipline above all else and it might have cost us several titles...' but Manchester United boss wouldn't change it
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees