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NZ Parliamentary Rugby Team Struts Their Stuff

NZ Parliamentary Rugby Team Struts Their Stuff

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The tax debate was left at the sidelines today as Labour, National and New Zealand First joined forces to defend the honour of that which is most precious in this country – our national game.

While the Barmy Army slept off their hangovers, and the paparazzi cameras flashed as Prince William broke out his cheeky grin, Damien O’Connor and his team of surprisingly athletic parliamentarians took on the pride that is the British and Irish Parliamentary Lions.

The 100-strong crowd of spectators and supporters may have mistakenly assumed the game was a friendly match, until the Lions scored a try – an action which inspired fighting talk from New Zealand First MP Ron Mark: “Ít’s game on,” he said. “It’s game on.”

The men in black rose to the challenge of defending New Zealand’s rugby pride – scoring early on in the match and dominating the first two thirds of play. Later in the last quarter, when the game was supposed to be in a more friendly phase, the Lions upped their efforts.

Damien O’Connor, Murray McCully and Ron Mark distinguished themselves throughout the match. John Carter had a more sedate game and John Tamihere lurked in midfield spectacularly missing a couple of tackles. The New Zealand Parliamentary Rugby Team co-captain Damien O’Connor declared the game a draw, though he seemed unsure about the final score.

“Of course, we were there to win,” O’Connor told a reporter after the game, “[but] it was a good game”.

Today was certainly an emotional day – a day that reminded one of that glorious Christmas truce of 1915 when men who had been at war kicked a football around on the Western front. Today Murray McCully and Damien O’Connor joined together to defeat/draw with /lose to a foreign invader and John Tamihere happily passed the ball to a TV3 employee. Truly, it was a day to remember.


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