All Black debutant Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi cut an emotional figure after his side’s 46-24 win over Argentina in Nelson last night.
Although the Chiefs halfback is a confident speaker, he was clearly touched by a post-match haka given by his father, father-in-law and partner in the Trafalgar Park stands.
“For them to make the trip all the way down from Rotorua, it just makes the debut extra special. It was just an awesome feeling. To get that kind of haka just personifies where I come from, a little area where not much people make it out. I’m carrying all my whanau from back home.” he said.
As for the game itself, Tahuriorangi was pleased with finally being able to get on the field after being first picked in the squad back in June. He played a key role in the All Blacks’ last try to Jack Goodhue, and was generally very accurate in the stint he got.
Anton Lienert-Brown was another player to come off the bench, however, he was once again called on after only a few minutes – much like his early injection in Sydney against the Wallabies.
“As a player, you always want to start, so that’s what I’m pushing for. But whatever job I need to do for the team, I’ll do it,” he said.
Liener-Brown’s combination with Goodhue once again impressed and gives the coaching staff a happy dilemma going forward with so many midfield options available.
The All Blacks now travel across the Cook Strait to Wellington, where they’ll play the Springboks next weekend at Westpac Stadium.