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Thread: Graeme Mourie

  1. #1
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    Graeme Mourie

    I've been watching some old rugby footage lately and I'm somewhat intrigued by Graeme Mourie, not so much by his excellent play as a breakaway, but more because I don't hear much about him. Graeme Mourie, what do New Zealanders think of him? This is probably best done with a questionaire...

    1. How do you think he compares with the greatest breakaways in All Blacks History?

    2. How does he compare, in your mind, to Michael Jones, Waka 'cheater' Nathan, Richie McCaw and Josh Kronfeld? Is he greater than any of these guys?

    3. Where do you think he rates among the All Black captains such as Sean Fitzpatrick, Wilson Whineray, Buck 'Meathead' Shelford, Gary Whetton and Tana Umaga?

    4. Is he regarded as a gentleman in New Zealand? From the sounds of it he was very sportsman-like and promoted happy relationships between sides after games ala Brian Lochore.

    (While not related to Mourie per se, I wanted to ask...)

    5. How do people in New Zealand rate in All Black pack of the time, especially the back-row of Shaw, Mourie and Mexted?

    6. Is Mourie acknowledged for being a wonderful influence on how that backrow operated?

    All I know is...

    -He had a wonderful tactical outlook on the game. His cat and mouse rivalry with Mark Ella in 1982 intrigued me.

    -He blatantly had great leadership skills... and I think it's safe to say he was the heart of that great pack. In fact I once read Cowboy Shaw credited Mourie greatly for improving his play, and guided him through the odd match.

    Why isn't he talked about more often?

  2. #2
    State Vice-Captain ohtani's jacket's Avatar
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    Mourie was a fine player and a great captain. The reason you don't hear about him more is because the All Blacks teams of the late 70s and early 80s aren't particularly famous. The Springbok tour of '81 is more famous than any of the rugby they played. The other flankers and captains you mentioned all played for legendary sides.

    My old boss used to say Mourie was the best openside flanker he'd ever seen, but because of the era he played in he's largely forgotten. There's a gap between the end of the 60s and the '87 World Cup that's a sort of lull in All Blacks history. The back row you're talking about (Shaw-Mourie-Mexted) is only remembered by people old enough to have seen them.

    But to answer your questions, I think Jones, Kronfeld and McCaw revolutionised the openside position to the point where it's difficult to put Mourie in their class. As a captain he's probably below the likes of Fitzpatrick, Whineray, etc., but still one of the finest captains NZ's produced and I guess he was a gentleman. He certainly took a stance over the Springboks tour, which wasn't an easy thing to do.

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