No room for gals in rugby black day

By Heather McCracken

Eketahuna's own Black Fern, Shakira Baker, was playing for New Zealand in England this weekend.

The game came just after being named Wairarapa's Maori sportsperson of the year, an honour she's had for the second year in a row.

It was a big game for Baker, after having scored the Black Ferns' only try in the previous match-up with England.

So, how did she go?

Hard to say. The Black Ferns lost, but that's about all I know. I couldn't watch the game, so I tried to find some coverage on Sunday morning, but came up only with a couple of brief internet stories, neither of which mentioned Baker.

I could have read a seemingly endless stream of stories about the All Blacks' season-ending loss to England.

But the Black Ferns, who lost by a pretty similar margin, were almost ignored.

Apparently everyone was too busy crying into their weetbix about the world champions being toppled from their perch to notice another game going on, immediately afterwards, at the same ground.

I scrolled through story after story about the ABs, looking for something recording that there'd been another New Zealand representative side in action - but the results were pretty paltry.

A Google search for Black Ferns came up with five news reports on the match - only two of them from this country. The same search for All Blacks came up with more than 80 stories about the Twickenham loss - and more stories were being added all the time.

Among all those All Blacks reports, I did find one story that referred to women. It started: "All Black wags should get busy with their knitting needles - two of their group are expecting the pitter patter of tiny feet ..."

And that was as much as I needed to read.


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