George North apologises for try-scoring taunt
‘I know it was out of line with sportsmanship and rugby and feel terrible for that’
George North of the Lions taunts Will Genia as he breaks clear to score the first Lions try during the First Test match at Suncorp Stadium on June 22nd, 2013. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
George North said he feels “horrendous” for the triumphant gesture he made towards Australia’s Will Genia during last Saturday’s 23–21 first Test victory in Brisbane.
North scored one of the great tries in the tourists’ history with a 60-metre solo run that saw him evade four tackles, one of them from Genia, at whom he pointed his finger before crossing the whitewash.
The 21-year-old wing was criticised for a gesture that he regrets and finds difficult to rationalise. “I’ve had a few words from various people,” he said. “I’ve apologised and can’t really explain what I did.
“I got caught up in the emotion of the try. Looking back I feel horrendous for doing it now. I’ll have to live with that and take it on the chin.
“I’ve had big words from [the tour manager] Andy Irvine, which was fun. Rugby’s a gentleman’s game and that shouldn’t be involved in the game.
“Andy said that to me and I knew it as soon as I’d done it. It’s very difficult to explain your emotions when you’ve scored a try.
“I know it was out of line with sportsmanship and rugby and feel terrible for that.
“I’ve had a lot of stick from the boys for doing that and am pretty sure it will go on for a while longer.”
Genia joked that he was “eating” grass at the time but may extend North the same courtesy if he scores a try and the Wallabies win.