All Blacks pay tribute to Maradona before match vs. Pumas

NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) — New Zealand paid tribute to Diego Maradona when captain Sam Cane laid an All Black jersey — number 10 — on the field before the start of their Tri-Nations test match against Argentina on Saturday.

As the All Blacks lined up to perform the haka, Cane stepped out, walked toward midfield and laid down the jersey — with Maradona's name and number on it — as Argentine players stood arm-in-arm and watched.

Several Argentine players nodded in acknowledgment of the gesture.

Maradona died Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60 in a house outside Buenos Aires where he had been recovering from a brain operation Nov. 3.

The soccer star was buried Thursday in a private ceremony — a stark contrast to earlier in the day when tens of thousands of weeping fans filed past his coffin for hours in an observance that mixed head-of-state-like honors with the chaos of a rowdy stadium.

New Zealand beat the Pumas 38-0 and took a firm grip of the Tri-Nations with one match remaining.


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