After the All Blacks defeated Ireland 28-24 in the 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-final, Retallick left his mark on O’Mahony with a parting shot that raised eyebrows around the world.
According to reports, as the final whistle blew, Retallick turned to O’Mahony and quipped, “Oi Peter, four more years, you f***wit.”
In a chat on the ‘What A Lad’ podcast with James Marshall, Retallick confirmed the incident, chuckling as he recalled the exchange: “I said what was reported.
"When they beat us in Wellington in that series [in 2022], he was just into us on the field, spraying us left, right, and centre. I enjoy it — when you’re having your day, you let them know it, but I’m definitely going to give it back when we’re having our day, and what better moment than that one right there, that’s for sure.”
O’Mahony had allegedly previously labelled All Blacks captain Sam Cane a “s***” version of Richie McCaw.
The quarter-final win was one of the greatest All Blacks matches of all time, and in front of 78,000 at Stade de France the New Zealanders proved their resilience and resolve to overcome the odds by knocking out Ireland, the world’s No 1 side, to halt their 17-test unbeaten surge.
Retallick, who is currently playing on a three-year deal at Japanese club Kobelco Kobe Steelers, doesn’t see himself pulling on the black jersey again following the World Cup final 12-11 defeat to South Africa.
But he boasts an incredible career, making his debut in Super Rugby and the All Blacks only a few months apart in 2012 before becoming the 12th All Blacks test centurion – finishing with 109.
In 2014 he was named the World Rugby and New Zealand Player of the Year.
In 2018, Retallick was awarded the World Rugby Try of the Year Award after his incredible dummy earned him five points against Australia in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney.
He was a member of the 2015 Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks squad and the team that finished third in 2019 and won Super Rugby with the Chiefs twice, in 2012 and 2013.
Reflecting on his illustrious career on the podcast, Retallick, now playing with the Kobelco Kobe Steelers in Japan, acknowledged, “It’s been a hell of a ride.”
From Christchurch Boys’ High School to Hawke’s Bay to the Chiefs and the All Blacks, Retallick’s journey had humble beginnings, joking that he was supported by a diet of tuna and crackers, reminiscing about the time when the Hawke’s Bay union paid for his studies and threw him a $15,000 contract.
Recounting his rise from the Hawke’s Bay academy to All Blacks centurion, Retallick emphasised the grind: “We were in the gym, skills training, club training, four days a week, two sessions. In the smaller player pool, we were alongside the ITM Cup coaches the whole time. Tom Coventry was coaching the Magpies and told me what he wanted from a lock ... so just went about it really.”
The turning point came during his Chiefs debut when fate intervened in the form of a fateful head butt from Romano Graham in the NPC final. With an opening in the locks, Retallick seized the opportunity, thinking, “This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on,” and got stuck in.”
As he hangs up his All Blacks jersey post the 2023 World Cup final defeat to South Africa, Retallick leaves behind a legacy of sharp wit, legendary sledges, and a career that’s been more tuna and crackers than glitz and glamour.