• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

3 retiriees after grand final lost



inspirational skipper Ruben Wiki, Vice Captain Nigel Vagana, and Stacey Jones are to retire. Jones for the second time.

they will all be missed, no so much jones as i am sure that benji will become our playmaker, even if he is at 6 but there is alot of experience gone now, and with only a year to go to world cup i am disapointed they arnt carrying it on for one more year. just to see if we could beat aussies at the world stage. though saying that the kiwis, aussies and great britain are the 3 best teams in the world bar none :)

good luck to all these guys after they have finished their domestic careers anyway :)

Kiwis lose top three after test heart-breaker
26 November 2006

In an emotional, and unexpected, moment in the dressing rooms after New Zealand had lost their Tri-Nations ***le in the cruellest of circumstance, the Kiwi's three-most capped players all retired from international rugby league.

Skipper Ruben Wiki, his vice-captain Nigel Vagana and New Zealand's iconic halfback Stacey Jones all stood in turn to announce their departures in the Aussie Stadium sheds minutes after the Kiwis had lost 13-12 here in the 87th minute of an enthralling game.

This remarkable contest was locked 12-12 at full-time, and the score remained the same after the first five minute period of 'Golden Point' extra time. Then 97 seconds into the second spell, Australian halfback Johnathon Thurston broke free to set up his captain, Darren Lockyer.

Wiki's wife Santa and his children Denzell and Mackenzie joined him on the field as he declared his retirement after a world record 55 caps. Jones and Vagana waited until they were inside the sheds before following suit.

The Kiwi skipper was applauded from the post-match press conference by journalists, but wanted to deflect attention away from himself, saying: "It's not about me, it's about rugby league. I hope you all get a lot of positives out of this game because international football is getting better and better."

Wiki declined to say when he had made his decision to quit - earlier in the week he had claimed he would be playing on - but said it was a joint call with his wife. "I've got a family, family comes first. I' ve had a great ride, but it is time for me to step aside and let the young guys take over."

A drained Kiwi coach Brian McClennan said Wiki was "irreplaceable".

"What he has done for the Kiwis, its more than what goes on the field - everyone here knows Ruben's qualities on the field, but off the field, the way he has tutored the young guys ...

"You just don't replace people like these three." One of the most experienced remaining players, David Kidwell, hailed the trio as "three legends of rugby league who will be sorely missed for their pride in the black jersey"

McClennan said he felt his men "deserved more" from this game. And they did.

Eventually, after the Kiwis had tries from Frank Pritchard and Iosia Soliola and two goals from Stacey Jones against a try from Brent Tate and four goals from Thurston, it came down to a single moment.

After New Zealand had four unsuccessful field goal attempts and Australia two, Kangaroo halfback Thurston found a hole and raced away. "I was just looking inside and out and I could see he [Lockyer] was coming up," he said. "He came inside and as soon as I threw him the ball, I knew he was over."

Thurston had missed probably the most likely of those one-pointers, and added: "Another opportunity came up and I took it with both hands ... you dream of representing your country and doing it in this style, I am very grateful and happy to be here." [/b]

no idea how many times he has retired, to many times :)

cricky its 420am, and i am still working!

Latest posts