All Black Marcel Renata: ‘I love representing this team.'

By Tumamao Harawira

For some Māori All Blacks, this is the pinnacle of their playing careers.

Forward Marcel Renata says the team means a lot to him.

"This is my All Blacks bro. I love representing this team. The jersey has a lot of mana, and hopefully, I can leave a legacy that I and my whānau would be proud of."

The Māori All Blacks maintained their perfect record, beating Samoa with a comfortable 35-10 win at an empty Sky Stadium in Wellington last Saturday. Now they’re set to take  on Samoa in the second test, as the curtain raiser to All Blacks first test against Tonga this coming weekend.

Renata is also excited about playing before his home crowd.

"I'm in the heart of South Auckland … born and bred in Clover Park. There are a flew flags on bonnets and speakers and stuff around my way. I love it."

Crusaders halfback Bryn Hall of Ngāti Ranginui says wearing the Māori jersey is also a momentous occasion for him.

" We talk about it in our team. If you get an opportunity it's about representing your family first and foremost."

Hall says the Wellington game wasn't the team’s best performance.

"We wanted to try and hold onto the ball and build phases. Samoa were lightning quick with the ball, so we need to clean it up."

Forwards coach Chris Gibbs wants more training in the scrum.

"We haven't done a lot of training around the scrum so there are a few timing issues and working together … to focus on ourselves, our balance, and making sure we are square."