Still have plenty to work on


is to like him (he’s one of a tiny hand­ful of play­ers who shakes hands be­fore an interview be­gins) so there was a spe­cial plea­sure to see that good guys can not only come back, but also be win­ners.

And then there was Vaea Fi­fita. We had the highly un­usual ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the week of hear­ing Steve Hansen pump up the vol­ume on a new ,un­tried player, which is some­thing that oc­curs with about the fre­quency of a lu­nar eclipse.

It cer­tainly seemed like test­ing fate, but, as, to be fair, of­ten hap­pens, Mr Hansen knew what he was do­ing. Fi­fita’s try was so spec­tac­u­lar it wouldn’t look out of place in a high­lights reel along­side the great­est ever solo try by an All Black for­ward, the stag­ger­ing run by Ian Kirk­patrick against the Li­ons in Christchurch in 1971.

What makes the test with South Africa next Satur­day ab­so­lutely fas­ci­nat­ing is won­der­ing which All Black side will turn up. If it’s the sec­ond half edi­tion from last night they should have a good win. But if it’s the first half ver­sion, hold all bets.


All Blacks first-five Beau­den Bar­rett scored a try in front of his home crowd.

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