McCaw praise for never-say-die All Blacks
September 11, 2010
Australia and New Zealand compete for the ball at a re-start © Getty Images
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw heaped praise on his players following their miraculous come-from-behind 23-22 win over Australia at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
McCaw, who led the All Blacks out to battle for the 52nd time to surpass Sean Fitzpatrick as the most capped Kiwi captain in history, played a leading role in the victory after scoring the match-turning second half try. But typically, the 29-year-old was quick to deflect the praise onto his team-mates after his side notched a record 10th consecutive victory over Robbie Deans' men.
"When you get in situations like that out there the key is to be composed and keep believing in what you're doing," McCaw explained. "We trained all week how we wanted to play and perhaps the first 50 minutes we didn't execute it and we were behind on the scoreboard."
"When it came down to having to get things right, the guys that you expect to do that were putting their hand up and that's what I see as pleasing. And then the guys that haven't been through that experience before can sort of follow on and do what the rest are doing, so it's not rocket science at all. It's just everyone being on the same page and doing it well I think."
Asked the significance of his captaincy milestone, a modest McCaw replied, "I don't get too carried away with those sorts of things and going into a game like that you've got to go out and still do your job. But I suppose when you reflect on those sorts of milestones to have a win under your belt certainly makes it nice, but yeah, I guess it's something I'm proud of."
Bemused Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was adamant McCaw should have been penalised for prematurely detaching from the scrum in the lead up to his match-turning try.
"Well there was one clever play by the All Blacks which obviously was the defining one, and they're clever, they're clever the way they stay a step ahead of the adjudication," Deans said when asked if there was a specific moment that turned the tide in the Kiwis' favour.
Asked if the All Blacks got the rub of the green, he replied: "In that instance, yeah. You saw it but that's fine, that's part of the game and that's something that's evident. We're all aware of that, there's nothing new in that. You've only got to look at the numbers to see they're smart. Good luck to them."
McCaw said when informed of Deans' comments: "I don't know (if I broke early). It's in the book now isn't it so I don't know, it was probably touch and go."
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