Lance Hohaia thought he had let his country down yesterday.
Instead, he won man of the match and was almost the player most responsible for a famous Kiwis victory as New Zealand and Australia drew 20-20 in their Four Nations rugby league opener in London.
The New Zealand fullback was a disconsolate figure after Australian halfback Johnathan Thurston stole the ball from him in the 42nd minute at the Stoop, the try breaking a 6-6 halftime deadlock.
But rather than hang his head, the Warriors star went on to score the try that put the Kiwis back in front before a late Cameron Smith try allowed the Aussies to get a share of the competition points.
"I just know how much hard work those boys were doing in the middle and I felt like I let the side down and let all those boys down," Hohaia said.
"The best thing you can do after that is to try and make your next plays positive and that's what I try to do and, thankfully, we didn't lose the game."
Coach Stephen Kearney was full of praise for his custodian's resilience.
"With Lance, he's one of those guys who thrives on confidence," he said.
"He got that in 38 minutes out there, of that second half. I thought he was tremendous.
"He's most dangerous when he takes the line on. He beat several tackles and it's just unfortunate Thurston got the ball off him."
- NZPABy Steve Mascord