Hit Him With Your Handbag: All Blacks Brawl

WELLINGTON, May 29 - New Zealand rugby officials are investigating allegations that Wellington Hurricanes and All Blacks forward Chris Masoe punched a patron in a bar before being hit by teammate and former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga armed with a handbag.
Masoe, who forms part of the tough Devil's Henchmen'' loose trio in the Hurricanes was reported to have burst out crying when Umaga hit him. The brawl erupted at 7am Sunday after the Hurricanes had spent the night commiserating following their 19-12 loss to the Canterbury Crusaders in the Super 14 rugby final played in dense fog in Christchurch on Saturday night. A 24-year-old Christchurch man, who did not want to be identified, told The Press newspaper he was in a bar where Masoe, who had been drinking and playing pool, tripped over his feet. Masoe then turned and allegedly punched him in the jaw. He just hit me in the side of the jaw. I was real shocked,’’ the man said.
Then Umaga hit him a couple of times with the handbag as if to say 'you idiot'. Masoe started crying. It was crazy.'' The 22-year-old woman who owned the handbag said she couldn't believe what happened. I mean a handbag, of all things. How hilarious … he hit him pretty hard. We heard it crack across the bar. He cracked him up the side of the head twice,’’ she told The Press.
The Chris guy got quite upset and started crying. They got them out the back door of the bar.'' The Hurricanes public relations manager Greg Palmer later issued a statement saying the team management had been advised about an incident involving Masoe and Umaga in a Christchurch bar. The matter is now being investigated by Hurricanes team management and further information will be provided once the details surrounding the incident have been fully established.
Due to the fact that information is still being gathered, it would be unfair to prejudge the events that occurred until a full and accurate picture is available,'' Palmer said. All Blacks manager Darren Shand would not comment on whether the incident would affect Masoe's future, but said when there was an incident involving an All Black and alcohol, it was investigated even though the player was not in camp with the Test squad at the time. We need to investigate the incident and then determine what happens from there,’’ he said.
It is the second incident involving the Hurricanes this year after Jerry Collins and Lome Fa’atau were involved in a bar altercation in South Africa in March.
AFP gc

They’re from the North Island so what do you expect :stuck_out_tongue:

The report below explains it more fully

All Black drama of handbags at dawn

Monday May 29, 2006
By Jarrod Booker

Patrons at a Christchurch bar say they watched in disbelief as former All Black captain Tana Umaga struck a teammate in the head with a woman’s handbag.

Umaga is said to have hit Hurricanes teammate and All Black Chris Masoe in response to Masoe allegedly attacking a bar patron at The Jolly Poacher tavern between 6.30am and 8am yesterday.

The pair were among a group of Hurricanes out drinking after their 19-12 loss to the Crusaders in the Super 14 rugby final in Christchurch on Saturday night.

Witnesses said the blow to Masoe was hard enough to smash a cellphone in the handbag belonging to a Christchurch woman spoken to by the Herald. They said Masoe broke into tears after the blows from Umaga, and was ridiculed by onlookers.

Jolly Poacher management said Hurricanes players had been at the tavern, but general manager Nick Allison denied anything happened like that reported by witnesses.

A patron, who asked not be named, told the Herald he was drinking at the bar when Masoe walked past and appeared to trip over his leg.

“As he went over, Umaga came over and he was behind him and he fell into it. And as that happened Chris turned around, because he thought I must have done it on purpose, and reached over and just gave me a bit of a hook. Tana pulled him away from me to the bar.”

The patron said he then saw Umaga pick up a woman’s handbag and “started whacking Masoe with it”.

He believed both Umaga and Masoe were “hammered”, but admitted he was drunk himself. He had not decided whether to make an official complaint against Masoe.

The owner of the handbag said Umaga picked it up and “then smacked the other guy around the head with it”.

“It was like he was trying to tell him off for being stupid. It was really weird.”

About 20 minutes later, when she grabbed her phone out, she found the face plate smashed and she could not read a text message.

Another bar patron, Scott, said he saw Umaga pick up a handbag and strike Masoe twice.

“When that happened, Masoe burst into tears and created a bit of a scene at the bar. A female bouncer came in and managed to get [Masoe and Umaga] to leave. A lot of people jumped up and were ready for a full-on brawl to break out.”

Scott, who asked that his surname not be published, said it appeared Umaga was reacting to the way Masoe had acted.

“It looked more like … an angry mother smacking a naughty child kind of thing. It wasn’t to give harm but to get a message across. There was obviously a bit of force behind it, to break the cellphone.”

Hurricanes manager Garry Carnachan said he would not have the opportunity to address the allegations with the players until today.

The Hurricanes are understood to be seeking any relevant camera footage from the tavern.

For what it’s worth I’d probably start crying too if Tana whacked me with a handbag
Tana’s stats
1.87m = 6’ 1 1/2"
101kg = 222.6lbs

Female bouncer, tears, handbag! This just gets better and better! (Though, I must say the red purse is rather striking with that black ensemble)

WELLINGTON, June 3 NZPA - Bidding for the handbag used by Tana Umaga to hit a rugby teammate closed at $NZ22,800 this evening, ending several days of entertainment for thousands of Kiwis.

The winning bidder, dealnz, aka Damien from Featherston, will be contacted by Trade Me to verify the legitimacy of his bid. The handbag will be sent free of charge, once the seller has the money - cash only, no cheques.
The online auction, which closed shortly before 7pm today local time, was viewed by just over one million people, over three days - a potential Trade Me record.
The seller received more than 3,000 comments and replied to just over 300. Most comments were not about the handbag, but about the entertainment value of the auction itself, ranging from the ``number eight wire’’ mentality of running the auction to suggestions of what to do with the money.

The auction had been plagued by unrealistic bids of $NZ1 million or more and Trade Me has had to investigate and remove them where necessary.
Consumers Institute chief executive David Russell this morning said while some bids could be getting posted illegitimately, any money owed from a winning bid could be legally pursued.
They're bound by the rules of Trade Me. If you make a bid and it's an open auction ... you've got to pay it.'' It would become a civil case if the bidder reneged and it would be up to Trade Me and the seller to pursue it, Mr Russell said. The seller also had an offer of free legal help if a winning bidder didn't produce the money. The handbag became famous when Umaga hit Chris Masoe over the head with it at a Christchurch pub early last Sunday morning. Masoe had hit a patron and was subsequently fined $NZ3000 by the New Zealand Rugby Union and Umaga was said to be diffusing the situation. The handbag owner's mobile phone was broken during the incident and later replaced by Umaga. Other traders on the site were trying to cash in on the interest in the auction, placing keywords Umaga’’, Masoe'' and handbag’’ in auctions for goods that had nothing to do it like shoes, in the hopes viewers would become interested.
An employee of the Jolly Roger Pub, where the fight took place also listed the patch of carpet they were standing on when it happened. He received some interest and a few good-natured comments from the pub’s owner.
Another trader listed a pizza box, which held the pizza he ate while watching the handbag auction, but his entrepreneurship was met with derision by fellow traders.

LOL, the photoshops are funny as hell!!! I have a friend who is friends with the girl who sold the bag rofl! What a small place nz is :smiley: :confused:

Umaga offered to give up gong

Friday June 9, 2006

Former All Black captain Tana Umaga felt such shame after he struck his Hurricanes teammate with a handbag that he offered to give up his Queen’s Birthday honour.

Umaga broke his silence about the early-morning fracas in a Christchurch bar while addressing a Trans-Tasman Business Circle function in Auckland yesterday.

He said he had asked the organisers of the Queen’s Birthday honours if they wanted to rescind the Officer of the Order of New Zealand that he was awarded this week.

"After what happened in Christchurch, being given this award for the Queen’s Birthday, I couldn’t believe it and I did ask: ‘Do you want to change your mind?’

“I’m a great believer in not letting people down, or letting down your position and they said to me, ‘Don’t worry, no problems, you’re not the worst one’.”

The humble leader had whacked his teammate Chris Masoe to subdue him after Masoe punched a member of the public.

The New Zealand Rugby Football Union fined Masoe $3000 and found Umaga had no case to answer.

The handbag has since been auctioned for $22,500, prompting Umaga to joke about having a golden touch.

“If I can touch something and use it, and [it’s then worth] $22,500 - jeez, can I take this home?” he said, gesturing to a bottle of champagne on the table next to him.

“I do believe I let myself down a little bit two weeks ago, but hey, things happen and you learn lessons.”


I visited the All Blacks team website, man those guys look tough. Do we have any rugby players here from this team?


When they do the Haka (spell??), which is like a Declaration of War dance (John??), you should stand there and face them, stare them down or whatever, maybe even turn your back. But you must not disrespect. One pretty tough Aussie from a few years back winked at the All Blacks and blew kisses at them while they were doing their pre-game Haka. Within 35 seconds of the kick-off he was smashed and I think he received about 35 stitches to the head and was out of business.

Chris Masoe was reduced to tears, so I understand, because some Maori thing called Mano (John??) was violated. Mano (??) is some sort of code of manliness. Anyway, I’m not a Kiwi and definitely not an All Black, but every Kiwi would die to be an All Black, even to be an All Black triallist. It’s completely bizarre. It’s the biggest and best brandname in world sports I reckon - and from such a tiny nation.

There may be :cool: but I would be surprised especially if they were current ones.

There are certainly many very talented, powerful strong athletes that play rugby and as much as I am an All Black fan I also view a lot of other athletes from similar sports in a similar vein e.g. Rugby League, Aussie Rules, Hurling, Gaelic Football. I have seen plenty of internet arguments as to which is tougher, Rugby or American Football and don’t know enough about American Football to properly comment but from what I do know they are very different as there doesn’t appear to be the same aerobic requirement in football. Over here the argument is which is tougher League or Rugby Union? I have heard strong cases for both.

Before responding to KK’s post I will point out that although I am a New Zealander I am not Maori and although I have some knowledge of their culture it is somewhat limited and my responses shouldn’t be seen as the definitive word on all things Maori…far from it.

The All Blacks aren’t the only national rugby team that uses a war dance / chant, others include Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and some African nations. The Haka isn’t only used by the All Blacks, many if not all New Zealand sports teams seem to perform it at some stage and this has recently drawn criticism that it is being devalued. Not only is it a challenge to the competition it is used as a celebration as well and is a sign of respect it is now not uncommon to see it performed post event although I don’t recall seeing the All Blacks doing it.

As for receiving the Haka the most respectful thing is to stand and watch, certainly ignoring it or turning your back is seen as a sign of disrespect and gets the AB’s even more fired up the result can be ….well KK outlined what can happen :stuck_out_tongue:

The word you were looking for KK is Mana and can be loosely translated as pride or respect but is more than that and is something you are viewed as having and pretty much earn it through your actions. As with all indigenous people respect is a big part of Maori culture and to be struck by Tana Umaga (recently retired All Black captain and a man with much Mana) with a bag as a public reprimand would certainly be seen as a put down.

The All Blacks brand is worth millions, Adidas paid something like $40million a few years ago to take over as gear supplier and every test is pretty much a guarenteed sell out.

The impact of rugby here is massive, whether you are a fan or not you simply cannot ignore rugby’s impact on NZ. The pressure on the AB’s to win every test is hyooge, probably the only thing I can compare it to is Brazil with soccer. Sadly we haven’t won the Rugby World cup since 1987 :frowning: and this is a point of much frustration and disappointment as we are consistenlty the no.1 team in the world.

As much as there are a lot of good things associated with rugby there are also some negative things. Incidents of domestic violence increase immediately after an All Balck loss :eek: drunken player incidents are not uncommon but then that isn’t isolated to rugby or NZ. Each time the AB’s have crashed out of the RWC the country has pretty much gone into mourning (I joke not). Being a small nation of only 4.2 million we don’t have a lot of money and a lot goes on rugby sponsorship so other sports miss out. Rugby also nabs a lot of the athletic talent (along the same lines as US Football does) fro example current AB winger Doug Howlett is an ex High School 400m champ.

I should also say that IMO the NZ Rugby Union aren’t squeaky clean in the way they deal with other nations particularly those in the Pacific Islands, we take many of their talented players and don’t do as much as they can to help them and most if not all the tests they play are in New Zealand.

The Maori historically were not averse to a bit of warfare and so far as I know they are one of - if not the only - indigenous nation never conquered when Europeans settled their land. The Maori are a mixture of savagery and gentleness, like most Polynesian people, but they were real gladiators which I suppose is why they love their footie.

[to digress, if you get to see a film called “Whale Rider” it is beautiful and a bit of an insight into Maori cultural heritage]

Maori can be pretty big too. There’s a Maori playing in the forwards for the Wallabies (the Aussie team; a Wallaby is like a Kangaroo only smarter :smiley: ) this weekend against England who weighed 150kg when he was in high school. He’s fitter and harder now at 130kg, but that’s pretty good for a guy who, due to the nature of rugby, will be expected to play 80 minutes of sprint-jog-destroy type action. :eek:

The Maoris can kick ass, so, next time I see a guy in a bar with a handbag, I’ll think twice before I say anything.

Just kicked lumps out of our boys this morning … as expected sadly.

Whale Rider is a great movie and shows the good side, unfortunately in some cases there is the bad side that is shown in Once were warriors .

The whole issue of Maori’s and colonisation is extremely complex and still current.

No.23 yes the AB’s did win but certainly not that convincingly :cool:

Arresting pitch-invader at All Blacks game against Ireland in Kiwiland. The ABs maintained their century-long unbeaten recoprd over the no-longer smiling Irish.

Then there is the usual All Black demolition derby

Even without the chappy with the delightful red handbag accessory, the All Blacks can still put on a terrifying Haka

And the Irish had to stand there and cop it, which is traditional respect

The player above is Ma’a Nonu and there was a BIG fuss a couple of years ago when he said he wears eyeliner before matches :eek:
All Black wears makeup as a `fashion statement’

Wednesday, Nov 03, 2004,Page 19

The All Blacks’ reputation as the hard men of world rugby may be tested by the admission of midfielder Ma’a Nonu that he wears eye makeup during matches.

Nonu told a television interviewer yesterday that he had recently begun wearing dark eyeliner in major games and would continue to do so on New Zealand’s pending tour to Britain and Italy.


The Wellington center said his teammates gave him “some grief” over the habit but he was undeterred and would continue making a personal fashion statement.

Nonu said he had always tried to express his personality on the field.


He began by wearing dreadlocks and, when that became common among New Zealand players, experimented with various hair colors.

Using dark eyeliner, which he applies in the dressing room before games, was novel but might catch on with other players, Nonu said.[/i]