Cape Town - A popular New Zealand columnist has taken a dig at his compatriots for the manner in which they conduct themselves in victory and defeat.
Mark Reason, writing for the Stuff.co.nz website, was upset after watching recent sporting events, among others where New Zealand's Hurricanes beat South Africa's Lions in the Super Rugby final and the New Zealand women’s sevens team going down to Australia in the Olympic Games final.
“Whatever happened to the stiff upper lip. Whatever happened to saying well done to the opposition. Whatever happened to treating those two imposters (winning and losing) just the same. In the past few days the Hurricanes won and the women's sevens lost and both teams behaved with an appalling disregard for the opposition,” Reason wrote.
“Phil Kearns (former Wallabies hooker) has already called out the Hurricanes for not immediately congratulating the Lions in their victory speech. New Zealand fans then called out Kearns for giving the All Blacks the finger when playing for the Wallabies, conveniently forgetting he had been mercilessly sledged by Sean Fitzpatrick for the whole game.”
Reason said it’s time New Zealanders also stop whining about refereeing performances when they lose.
“Now I am going to call out the sevens team. Their coach Sean Horan sledged the Aussies beforehand in an attempt to wind them up and then did not give them much credit in his post-match interview. He also had a small whinge at the refereeing which seems almost de rigueur when a New Zealand team loses. The Crusaders are still banging on about Craig Joubert years later, conveniently ignoring all the decisions that went in their favour.
“The sight of Portia Woodman (New Zealand Sevens women’s player) blubbing on the ground and actually holding up the end of the match was demeaning. It was an act of immense self-pity. We admire her as a player, we can sympathise with her hurt, but is there a need for such a public spectacle?"
Reason singled out American tennis star, Serena Williams, as an example of how to act - whether you win or lose.
“Yes, she is a tigress on the court, but when it is over, especially after a loss, she is capable of smiling, warmly congratulating her opponent at the net and then speaking with genuine joy and admiration about her achievement."