Nonu: I'm just 'misunderstood'

Sun, 27 Oct 2013 08:42
Large ma a nonu b w Large walsh  nonu   hore Large ma a nonu all blacks hair

Ma'a Nonu, the talented All Black everybody loves to hate, feels he is just misunderstood.

Ma'a Nonu, the talented All Black everybody loves to hate, feels he is just misunderstood.

After nearly heading abroad because no franchise in New Zealand wanted him, Nonu finally found a home at the Blues last week - when the NZ Rugby Union confirmed that the burly midfielder has signed with NZRU and the Blues for 2014 and 2015.

Now Nonu wants to change the public perception that he is a divisive influence that doesn't care about Super Rugby and only performs at Test level for the All Blacks.

"I would like to change the perception in terms of how people view me and think what I'm like," Nonu said.

"They're judging me off the field without really knowing who I am," he added.

"I can't control how the public feel. I've played for different teams and there are some loyal fans out there who wouldn't agree. Not a lot of people are forgiving. But I could never say I was half-hearted in those Super Rugby games. All I can say is I do try.

"I've got a lot to prove. Personally I feel I have to prove people wrong all the time. It drives me more to succeed, to do what I do best. The best way I can express who I am is to play good rugby."

Ever since Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett ejected Nonu from his home franchise Nonu's Super Rugby form has been scrutinised like no other. He hasn't been able to showcase his world-class abilities as often as he'd like.

But he isn't sure how or who constructed his "troublemaker" tag.

And if he has been a disruptive influence, he wants people tell him how so he can improve, if necessary.

"I don't know what that means," the 85-test veteran said. "I need facts in terms of examples in how I'm perceived in that way. Who has put it out there? It would have been things that I've done. I need details. It's been thrown out there last two years and it hasn't been nice.

"I think I'm misunderstood in that aspect. When you play for the All Blacks there's 15 men that are playing the best rugby they can. When you're in this team you just do your job. Everyone is responsible."

That's a view shared by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"He's a great player who is often misunderstood by a lot of people but he's certainly been great in our environment," Hansen said. "We love him and I'm sure he'll be very good for the Blues."

Nonu admits to making mistakes. He regrets the way his time ended in Dunedin, his red card from a tip tackle which forced him to sit out the final two games of the season. He realises some stoic southern fans will hold on to that act alone.

But, for one reason or another, Nonu isn't the only player to leave the Highlanders. There's been a mass exodus of their top-tier talent.

Before Kirwan called, Nonu was resigned to leaving for France.

Later the Chiefs also extended an offer but the 31-year-old felt he needed to repay Kirwan's show of faith.  

"It was pretty close," he said of deflecting to a French club.

"We had to get the formalities sorted and decide whether it was a yes or no to get the ball rolling. I could have said yes in a matter of days.

"It was one of those uncomfortable places you don't want to experience all the time.

"The Blues were the first ones to come when no-one else wanted me."

Source: Fairfax NZ News

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 30 April 2016
Blues v Rebels 05h15 Auckland
Highlanders v Brumbies 07h35 Dunedin
Reds v Cheetahs 09h40 Brisbane
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
Namibia v EP Kings 13h00 Windhoek
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 8 5 0 3 22
Brumbies 8 5 0 3 21
Waratahs 7 3 0 4 17
Reds 8 1 1 6 8
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 8 5 0 3 26
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 24
Blues 7 3 1 3 16
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 28
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 6 0 2 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4