Mealamu's 100th test
Sun, 21 Oct 2012 6:38p.m.
By Jim Kayes
Scot Higginbotham has been cited for two counts of foul pay against All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and has a date with the judiciary tomorrow.
And Scot Higginbotham has been cited for two counts of foul pay against McCaw and has a date with the judiciary tomorrow.
McCaw knows he's a marked man. The All Blacks captain also knows he's powerless to stop the cheap shots that regularly come his way.
"It annoyed me at the time but I suppose if it was on TV it will get dealt with I guess,” says McCaw. “It gets a bit frustrating those things, a bit annoying, but there's nothing I can do about it. Someone else can deal with that."
"You people see it week in, week out yourselves,” says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. “All we can do is say, ‘well we saw it, and it was a cheap shot’, and then hope that the judicial people will sort it out."
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans turned a blind eye to yet another attack by one of his players on McCaw.
“I didn't see that, no,” says Deans. “I must have been taking some notes at the time."
While an attack on McCaw is no surprise, the All Blacks’ error-ridden performance was.
"It was probably one of the ugliest games of rugby I've even been involved in,” says Hansen. “[There were] too many avoidable penalties, too many avoidable mistakes."
McCaw admits he was frustrated with the constant flow of penalties.
"But more frustrated with ourselves,” says McCaw. “Craig said before the game he was going to maintain a pretty strict ruling around the breakdown and I thought he did exactly what he said he was going to do."
"To play as poorly as we did and still manage to show the character and tenacity to get a draw, I think is pleasing," says Hansen.
But the All Blacks still had a chance to celebrate All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu's 100th test with after McCaw called for a scrum when others would have settled for the draw.
"The character of the bloke is that he wants to win and a draw's not a win," says McCaw.
"We would have loved to walk away with the win and it was almost a possibility, if not for a couple of inches,” says Mealamu. “But that's the way a game pans out. We're just a little bit disappointed. We're a bit off the eight ball today."
So Mealamu is unhappy with the draw, but rightly proud of what he's achieved.
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