Wynne Gray

Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

All Blacks: 'Sam, you're in' - it's test time

Sam Cane. Photo / Getty Images.
Sam Cane. Photo / Getty Images.

Sam Cane was wandering around the All Blacks dressing room about to resume his sideline seat when he got his test call-up.

Team doctor Deb Robinson signalled No 8 Kieran Read could not continue and Cane was called into action.

"Sam, you're in," coach Steve Hansen told him.

"Right now?" the 20-year-old flanker inquired. Cane got the affirmative, shed his jacket and ran into test rugby for the first time.

He was pleased he did not have too much time to think about his debut.

"Any way is a good way," he said later after a debut watched by his parents, younger sisters, aunts, uncles and his girlfriend.

His jersey would go to his parents and he had managed to see his mum not long after the match.

Cane had an early carry to feel the physical crunch of the Irish and then went to work as the All Blacks tried to shake off the visitors.

Like most after their test debut, Cane marvelled at the speed of the match and the levels of commitment.

"It was quick and I can remember it and I'll reflect on it tonight and have a look at the video tomorrow," the 20-year-old said.

"When the ball's in play it is a quick game and the forwards, particularly, are always working hard because of the conditions.

"Ireland showed what a week's difference can make, eh? That probably comes down to a bit of attitude on both parts. They were up and we may have been a little bit off the pace but they were tough, it was physical but it was awesome."

Cane was at the bottom of a ruck when Daniel Carter landed his winning dropped goal. He never felt the All Blacks would lose and was impressed by the composure from players like Richie McCaw, Tony Woodcock and Carter. Wynne Gray

- NZ Herald

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