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'Harden up' - NZ commentator ridicules Pumas players and coaches for 'crying'

By Ian Cameron
Juan Imhoff gets a dose of the feels (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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A former New Zealand commentator has derided the Pumas players and coaches for crying in the aftermath of their historic win over the All Blacks over the weekend.


Pumas players and burly head coach Mario Ledesma openly choked back tears at the final whistle at the Bankwest Stadium, in what was a momentous occasion for Argentinian rugby and indeed neutrals fans around the world. But not everyone thought the outpouring of emotion was appropriate, or rather, manly enough.

Keith Quinn, an institution in New Zealand sporting circles, came under heavy criticism himself for comments he made on social media in which he instructed the Pumas and others to ‘harden up’. The 74-year-old, who has commentated on rugby for decades, suggested modern men need to man up and cry less.

“What’s happening to bloke-ism? In the TV news the last few days Dustin Johnson, Lewis Hamilton and Puma rugby players and coach all crying their eyes out.

“Would the sight of All Blacks wearing pink boots have moved Pinetree Meads? I doubt it. Harden up – blokes of today!”

Former All Blacks winger turned pundit John Kirwan, a long time champion of men’s mental health issues and a man who has suffered from depression, said of the comments: “My highlight from the weekend was the team and Mario Ledesma crying, made me cry. Beautiful.”


Crowd Goes Wild anchor Andrew Mulligan didn’t pull his punches in response to the veteran, tweeting: ‘That’s some dumb shit tweeted right there, Keith.’

There were literally hundreds more in that vein.


To his credit Quinn had lauded Los Pumas for their victory a couple of days earlier, writing: “So proud for Pumas rugby and specially Frankie Deges (who has been writing from Buenos Aries in English, for the ‘outside world’ always in hope of big things for his beloved blue and whites.) Tonight we salute you Frankie; we will have a helados and CocaLite for your rugby loyalty!”

His comments may have struck the wrong chord on this occasion, but maybe speak to a generational shift in perception about what is and isn’t manly or ‘blokish’ behaviour.

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'Harden up' - NZ commentator ridicules Pumas players and coaches for 'crying'