Menu allblacks.com

News

Emotions high for Weepu and Kirwan

Getty Images

Sportal.co.nz     25 Feb 2013     Getty Images

Weepu, who played the majority of those 100 matches for the Hurricanes, said after helping the Blues to a 34-20 win against his former team-mates that getting to share his milestone in his home city with family had been the 'icing on the cake'.

"You try to hold the tears back in and when I got out there I just managed to do it," he added. "It's pretty emotional. It's not often you get to achieve a milestone like that.

"It's amazing to get to 50 let alone 100.

"I was just happy to go out there with [my daughters]. Whether we won or lost I was just happy to share that moment with my two daughters."

Emotions ran high in the Blues coaching box as well as they opened the Sir John Kirwan era with a four-tries-to-two victory.

Frank Halai's brace, on debut, bookended five-pointers for Charles Piutau and Rene Ranger while Weepu added a further 14 points with the boot.

"I just told all the boys in the coaching box that I was going to give them all a man-hug," said Kirwan of his reaction at the final whistle.

"Ted [technical director Graham Henry] wasn't too happy about that but I gave him one anyway.

"I was just really proud of the boys. They've worked hard and deserve this win but we've achieved nothing, feet on the ground, keep working hard."

Halai had an eventful opening match as he also spent 10 minutes in the sinbin in the second half after being adjudged by TMO Vinnie Munro to have deliberately swatted the ball out of play to prevent Julian Savea adding to his first-half try.

The result was a penalty try for the Hurricanes which allowed them to regain the lead.

"I could have killed someone. It was unbelievable. I couldn't believe it," said Kirwan.

"It was a rollercoaster for me in the coaching box. Obviously it was a real spur on for the boys as well.

"Coaches, we're emotional people as you know and at the time I thought it was reasonably harsh. But that's the game at this level. I was just absolutely proud of the way the guys reacted to the decision."

From that moment on, the new-look Blues side took control of the match and punished every Hurricanes mistake. Ranger powered over with 10 minutes to go before Halai and Weepu rounded off a good evening's work.

"It's all about guts and the young boys showed it tonight," said Weepu. "We came here to try and earn the respect back after last year.

"We're not taking anything for granted this year. Boys are trying to work harder as a team and as a unit. It showed out there tonight."