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New Zealand SVNS star's cold reply to Aussie coach’s loser talk comment

By Finn Morton
Shiray Kaka of New Zealand runs with the ball during the 2023 Sydney Sevens match between New Zealand and Japan at Allianz Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Black Ferns Sevens ace Shiray Kaka has hit back at comments from a rival coach that the New Zealand men’s team were embracing loser talk after a run of uncharacteristically poor results.

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Only a few days before SVNS Vancouver, Australia women’s coach Tim Walsh spoke with RugbyPass about a variety of topics – including being the best and staying there.

Walsh was asked about comments from New Zealand players Leroy Carter and Sam Dickson, with the pair telling this outlet during the season that the Kiwis were prioritising the Olympic Games.

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Carter in Cape Town said the New Zealanders were “not trying to be the best at the moment” while Dickson in Perth revealed, “The Olympics is our main goal.”

But the sentiment of those comments surprised Walsh who told RugbyPass that “that’s what you’re saying when you’re losing, to be honest.

“I can’t imagine any New Zealand team saying that.

“I think that’s one of the things around New Zealand is that they always try and be the best they can be at the time.”

Well, towards the end of Day One at SVNS Vancouver, another New Zealander described the upcoming Paris Games as “the pinnacle event” for the year.

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Black Ferns Sevens ace Shiray Kaka, who returned to the SVNS Series this week after missing out on the squad for Perth, was at her best during an all-time hilarious interview.

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Kaka, 28, didn’t shy away from the fact that this year hasn’t gone to plan for the New Zealanders. With no Cup final triumphs in 2023/24, they’ll be eager to turn that around in Canada.

“Not the greatest, you can say it, you can say it. We’ve lost every tournament. That’s what’s happened,” Kaka told RugbyPass.

“We just go back to playing rugby for fun and remembering your ‘why’ and all that kind of thing. Just coming together, recuperating and just remembering the pinnacle event is the Olympics.

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“We keep grinding.”

That response about the Olympics led to a question about Tim Walsh’s comments.

Kaka, who had referred to the coach as “Uncle Timmy” only moments before, was surprised by Walsh’s view on the topic. But the Kiwi laid down a marker with a cold reply.

“All I’ll say is we’ll see. We’ll see.”

Back in black during the event at BC Place Stadium, Kaka has led the way with three tries in two games for the Black Ferns Sevens.

Kaka scored a double during the big win over Brazil in their first match of the event and added another runaway try to her tally later in the day against South Africa.

“Feeling good. The turf makes you feel faster as well so I’ve got no complaints.

“I don’t want to say I don’t have any grazes yet because I’ll probably jinx it so we’ll just go with that.

“It feels like a playground out there and because the area is so loud, I feel like the speaker’s right in the middle of the field too so that’s kind of distracting having ADHD but it’s fine.”

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