The story behind the All Blacks pre-match gesture

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Captain Sam Cane, who laid the jersey down on Argentina's side of halfway before the haka, said, "It was a gesture, a token of paying our respects to an Argentinian legend and a world legend in his field," he said.

 

While not knowing a lot about soccer, Cane said the players in the team who did knew what Maradona meant and he felt it was the right thing to do.

 

"Rugby's a game that, first and foremost, is built on respect, I believe, and it was respectful and the right thing to do," he said.

 

Argentina captain Pablo Matera said Cane told him at the coin toss that the All Blacks were going to make the presentation.

 

"We are very thankful for that. Maradona was obviously huge for Argentina so I am really thankful for that gesture from the All Blacks," he said.

 

Matera said the side had taken energy from his death because Maradona had represented the country the best way possible as a sportsman. And the Pumas wanted to represent their country the same way that Maradona had.

 

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