This sure reads like a joke, but with rugby who can tell? - Wes


All Black cries after handbag attack

From - May 29, 2006

A New Zealand rugby player burst into tears when his captain hit him with a woman's handbag in an early morning incident in a Christchurch bar, news reports said today.

The pair were then thrown out by a female bouncer.

New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, are the country's most macho heroes and the story of Sunday morning's clash between Chris Masoe and captain Tana Umaga stunned fans.

Both were still drowning their sorrows at The Jolly Poacher tavern in the early morning hours after their Wellington Hurricanes team lost the Super 14 rugby final to the Christchurch Crusaders the previous evening.

Reports said Masoe punched another drinker after tripping over his leg.

Umaga then picked up a woman's handbag and hit Masoe on the head with enough force to smash a mobile phone inside the bag.

"When that happened, Masoe burst into tears and created a bit of a scene at the bar," a witness said.

The players "left without too much trouble" when a woman bouncer intervened, The Press reported, quoting an onlooker.

The 22-year-old owner of the handbag told the paper: "I mean a handbag, of all things.”

"How hilarious ... he hit him pretty hard. We heard it across the bar. He cracked him up the side of the head twice."

And more…

May 29 2006: NEW Zealand rugby officials are investigating allegations that Hurricanes and All Blacks forward Chris Masoe punched a patron in a bar before being hit by teammate and former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga, who was armed with a woman's handbag.

Masoe, one of the 'Devil's Henchmen', the Hurricanes' trio of loose forwards, was reported to have burst out crying when Umaga hit him.

The brawl erupted at 7am yesterday morning after the Hurricanes had spent the night commiserating following their 19-12 Super 14 final loss to the Crusaders.

A 24-year-old Christchurch man, who did not want to be identified, told The Press that he was in a bar where Masoe, who had been drinking and playing pool, tripped over his feet.

Masoe then turned and punched the man in the jaw, the patron alleged.

"He just hit me in the side of the jaw," the man said.

"Masoe started crying. It was crazy." The 22-year-old woman who owned the handbag said she couldn't believe what happened.

"I mean a handbag, of all things," she told The Press. "How hilarious... he hit him pretty hard. We heard it crack across the bar. He cracked him up the side of the head twice.

"The Chris guy got quite upset and started crying. They got them out the back door of the bar."

Hurricanes public relations manager Greg Palmer issued a statement saying team management had been advised about an incident involving Masoe and Umaga in a Christchurch bar.

And even more…

June 5 2006: Former New Zealand rugby captain Tana Umaga has been honoured by the Queen, a week after he reduced a team mate to tears by hitting him around the head with a handbag.

Umaga, who announced his retirement from the All Blacks in January, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit today for his services to rugby in his country's annual Queen's Birthday Honours.

Umaga said he and his family were very proud of the honour.

"It's come as a bit of a shock... it's put a smile on my face," Umaga was reported saying in the Dominion Post newspaper.

Umaga was in the news the week before for striking Wellington Hurricanes team mate Chris Masoe with a woman's handbag in a Christchurch bar early on Sunday morning after Masoe had punched a man. Masoe was reportedly in tears afterwards.

Owner Nicole Davies cashed in on the fame of her handbag, selling it in an Internet auction at the weekend for $NZ22,800 ($A19,200).

Umaga played 74 Tests for the All Blacks, including 21 as captain, and still plays for the Hurricanes in the Super 14 competition.

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