A 74-6 loss for the Eagle men last night.
That was painful to read. But an important fact in the opening, “but momentum changed sides quickly as the New Zealand Maori showed what a full professional side can accomplish”.
It’s easy to read that score and think, wow, we completely suck. But a game like that, essentially amateurs trained together for a few weeks at most playing professional paid athletes … it’s like David to Goliath. A D-III team playing a D-I team. College football to the NFL.
Goff’s headline (subscription required)? “Maori Smoke USA“. And this defining sentence – “They were too quick, too skilled, and too much for an Eagle side still getting its sea legs.”
Kurt Oeler’s got more here on the game in detail and then some.
Some 30 points worse than the two teams’ 2004 meeting, the lopsided result compares with last season’s whitewash at the hands of Wales, and discredits the idea that changed coaching or selections would account for the gap between professional and amateur rugby players. Thorburn succeeded Tom Billups prior to the start of the 2006 season, and five of last night’s starters are new to the test level.