Laumape: 'Let the haters hate'
REACTION: Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape fired off a broadside at his critics, following his game-breaking performance against the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The All Black midfielder enjoyed a fine shift at 12 which saw him run rough-shod over the Blues defence, notably burning Hurricanes defector Beauden Barrett on the way to a remarkable early try.
In the third minute, the ball was spun wide to Laumape who was positioned out on the wing with space in front of him. Barrett was playing at fullback, but had to rush forward to meet the oncoming Laumape.
While the Hurricanes No.12 is better known for running through players, the former rugby league player instead stepped to the side and burst past Barrett – leaving the fullback clutching at air.
Barrett gave chase and dived to try and bring down Laumape but couldn’t get hands on the rampaging midfielder.
Instead, Blues No.10 Otere Black (who also started his career with the Hurricanes) was forced to attempt to take Laumape down metres in front of the tryline. Of course, Black stood no chance – and Laumape burst over for the opening try of the match.
Minutes later, Laumape bowled through Barrett in almost the exact same location and came close to scoring a second try but Emoni Narawa managed to bring the blockbusting centre to the ground.
When interviewed directly after the match, Laumape words were as direct as his running, as he fired off at critics of his ‘style of rugby’.
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“It’s good to be out here and to perform the way I did. A lot of people have been disrespecting my name and I wanted to come out and show everyone the way that I play.
“I’m happy with that. Let those people keep disrespecting my name, because I’m going to turn up every week.”
“Too much people talking, I’m just going to be me.”
Laumape was widely considered one of the unluckiest men in New Zealand to miss selection for the All Blacks at last year’s World Cup but with Ryan Crotty and Sonny Bill Williams heading overseas, a couple of new spots have opened up in the NZ midfield.