This article originally appeared on Stuff and is reproduced with permission
Argentina star Pablo Matera has revealed why he snubbed the handshake of All Blacks hooker Dane Coles after their Rugby Championship match in Hamilton.
Coles played the last 18 minutes off the bench in a commanding 53-3 All Blacks victory, but the biggest talking point about his appearance was him being shoved aside by Matera when the teams lined up for their post-match handshakes.
It seems Coles, known for his gamesmanship, overstepped the boundary in the opinion of Matera, the big Pumas No.8 who refined his game with the Crusaders in New Zealand, helping them to this year’s Super Rugby Pacific title.
Watch every match of the women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad-free, live and on demand
« He just continued picking on me in every ruck and every scrum, saying some things that really hurt, some strong things, » Matera told James Marshall on the What a Lad podcast.
« I don’t want to repeat it, but I couldn’t understand why. They were winning by 40 points, he just came on… I didn’t understand his attitude.
« I know he’s a great player and I know he’s a great guy as well, because his teammates spoke to me after the game and said ‘he’s a good guy’, and I said ‘I’m sure he’s a good guy’. But I just didn’t understand why he continued picking at me and he said things I’m sensitive about, like me being in New Zealand… ‘you don’t belong here.’
READ MORE: Experts make bold Rugby World Cup predictions
READ MORE: The women leading double lives in search of glory
READ MORE: Dummies guide to women’s Rugby World Cup
« I was, like, ‘If you knew how much me and my family went through to be able to come here, you wouldn’t be saying these things’. »
In hindsight, Matera, who was captaining the Pumas that night, has some regrets over his actions.
« That is not something I’m proud about, to be honest, because I know there are a lot of young kids, young players that watch the game, and it’s not a good example, » he said.
Sean Maloney and Morgan Turinui are joined by Nathan Grey to dissect the final round of the Rugby Championship and reminisce on some stories from their playing days
« I’m one of the guys that say ‘things that happen on the field, stay on the field,’ that’s how it has to be always, but that day was a bit different to be honest, that day was a bit different. »
Marshall asked Matera if Coles were to invite him over for a beer, would he accept?
« 100 per cent, yeah, » Matera replied.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here