It’s a good display from the All Blacks when they score five tries against any of the top tier teams. To do it against Australia was a formidable display of power, pressure and aggression. One of their best matches, which kept the Bledisloe in New Zealand for the 12th time in a row (and 13 consecutive wins)
It was also the last time Richie McCaw would play on Eden Park, and a great game to farewell him, but also celebrate his becoming the most capped player in the history of international rugby.
McCaw is to rugby today, what Colin Meads was to the generation before me.
Amazingly it has been 21 years since the All Blacks lost at Eden Park.
I can recall the late 1990s when Australia beat NZ in the Bledisloe for five years in a row. We started to wonder if we’d ever win it back.
The Herald has some comments on McCaw becoming the most capped player in history:
“Without a doubt he is the greatest All Black of all time. I am convinced that in my lifetime there will not be another player who will captain New Zealand for as many tests, or play as many tests for the All Blacks. He is a remarkable athlete, an outstanding leader and a truly great New Zealander.
— John Key, Prime Minister
“I have seen for myself how part of his charm is the way he interacts with the fans and his connectivity with the community is immense. He is a legend. There is even a very small part of me that would like to see Richie and the All Blacks defend their World Cup in the final.”
— Nick Farr-Jones, World Cup-winning former Wallaby captain
“As an All Black and Crusaders rugby fan, I feel like I’ve spent half my life cheering on Richie McCaw. He hasn’t quite been around that long, but there’s no denying his stature in the game. For my money he is the greatest All Black we’ve ever had, and therefore the greatest player the world’s ever had!”
— Mike McRoberts, TV3 News presenter
“He is so courageous, yet so humble and is a man who is always looking to improve. He is first out the shed and last on the bus. He made others come up to his standards. This has been immensely important to the All Blacks.”
— Ian Jones, former All Black
“To me he’s simply the greatest All Black. The toughest, fittest and hardest. 142 brutal and physical full test matches. He’s been to war for his country. At times fighting with one functioning foot.”
— Duncan Garner, radio host
“I think all the kids up here just see Richie as theirs. He is Kurow’s most famous kid.”
— Deidre Senior, Waitaki Valley School principal
“A leader that others want to follow. Richie is uncompromising and pushes the boundaries to the nth degree. Fair but tough. Winners want the ball and they want to charge forward when others are crippled by fear … In the heat of competition, when his teammates are looking for someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck — up steps Richie.”
— Jenny-May Coffin, broadcaster and former Silver Fern
Can’t wait for the Rugby World Cup to begin!
Tags: All Blacks
, Richie McCaw