Before the traditional haka, New Zealand captain Sam Cane placed in the central circle a black jersey stamped with the No 10 and the name of Maradona.
The New Zealand All Blacks paid tribute to Diego Maradona, who died on Wednesday at the age of 60, on Saturday shortly before their Rugby Championship match in Australia.
New Zealand captain Sam Cane dropped off an All Blacks jersey, bearing the No 10 and Maradona’s name, in the center circle as a sign of respect, before the traditional All Blacks haka.
“I think he’s a legend to everyone, but in Argentina he was almost a god,” Pumas coach Mario Ledesma said shortly before kick-off. “He had the ability to bring everyone together, so he will be missed.”
Maradona was a big fan of any Argentina national team, and Ledesma met him on several occasions. “Our paths have crossed several times, but not that much. There was this je ne sais quoi in him, like a magnetism: when he was there, it was as if the world stopped ”, testified Ledesma.
“He loved tennis, hockey, rugby, football, every time there was an Argentina jersey he was there. It really did honor to the Argentine jersey. ”
In sporting terms, the All Blacks largely beat Argentina with a bonus (38-0), ending a series of two unprecedented defeats since 2011, and therefore won the Rugby Championship.