Video: Clarke plays peacemaker in All Blacks street altercation
Footage has emerged online of a Saturday night altercation in Wellington between All Blacks flanker Akira Ioane and legendary scrum-half Justin Marshall. The words that were exchanged between the pair were inaudible due to the sounds of Irish celebrations in the background following their 2-1 Test series victory over New Zealand.
However, the footage shows a dispute between Ioane and Marshall in which the back row forward – a starter in the 32-22 defeat at Sky Stadium – is held back by people around him while the retired half-back attempts to walk towards him.
Caleb Clarke, another current All Blacks player, stepped in to act as the key peacemaker, telling Marshall, the 48-year-old who now works as a TV pundit, to walk away.
The video is the latest bad look in a messy few days for the All Blacks since their first ever home Test series loss to Ireland and a subsequent NZ Rugby statement admitted that the All Blacks management were informed by team security of the incident caught on camera.
“Our security was managing the group in a separate area at the venue,” it read. “We have contacted venue staff and spoken at length with players and security staff, who recall words being exchanged with another individual as they were leaving. Our security proceeded to escort our players to their transport.
“Behaving responsibly is one of the core values in our team environment. The group were working to meet their curfew and when faced with a tricky situation, they did what they could to ensure everyone departed safely at the appropriate time.”
Marshall went on the following day to appear on the latest edition of The Breakdown, the Sky NZ rugby programme, where he was critical of what had unfolded during the fourth All Blacks loss in five matches. “Ireland’s method is outstanding,” said Marshall during a guest appearance on the programme along with John Kirwan, Jeff Wilson and Isa Nacewa.
“What they are is very assured of their game. The problem is we are looking at Ireland going why can’t we do that? That is the thing that is making everyone anxious.
“That’s three test matches the All Blacks haven’t started well so roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the game. Don’t piggyback the opposition into it by kicking them the ball. Be prepared to work out of your own half with ball in hand like Ireland do. It feels to me we are sending these messages out and we are hearing it from the players and the coaches of we need to start better, we need to get into the game.
“But we are gifting the ball back to the opposition and saying well you come at us because we will kick it to you. Box kick, box kick, too afraid to play in our own half, worried about the position on the field rather than getting stuck into your work.”
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