Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape hit out at his critics following his side’s 29-27 win over the Blues in the Super Rugby Aotearoa on Saturday.
The 27-year-old sent a clear message to the All Blacks management team with his stellar performance in Wellington, leaving Beauden Barrett for dead with a brilliant sidestep in the build-up to his try. Minutes later, he powered past the Blues full-back in a thundering tackle before being brought down just short of the line.
🔥 Laumape with the step and PACE! What a start from @HurricanesRugby.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 18, 2020
When questioned about his style of rugby after the game, Laumape quipped that too many people have an opinion on how he plays the game.
“It’s good to be out here and to perform the way I did”, he told Sky Sports NZ.
“A lot of people have been disrespecting my name and I wanted to come out and show everyone the way that I play.
“I’m happy with that. Let those people keep disrespecting my name, because I’m going to turn up every week.
“Too much people talking, I’m just going to be me.”
Laumape was one of the big-name casualties when former All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen named his squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan last year. He was overlooked in favour of Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown, with many New Zealand fans questioning the decision at the time.
However, given his performances in the domestic competition of late, Laumape is expected to be brought back into the fold by Ian Foster when international rugby returns.