All Blacks: Cruden targeted by laser

By Patrick McKendry of APNZ in Buenos Aires

Aaron Cruden has spoken of his disappointment at being targeted by a laser beam shone from the crowd at the Ciudad de La Plata Stadium. Photo / Getty Images.
Aaron Cruden has spoken of his disappointment at being targeted by a laser beam shone from the crowd at the Ciudad de La Plata Stadium. Photo / Getty Images.

All Black Aaron Cruden has spoken of his disappointment at being targeted by a laser beam shone from the crowd at the Ciudad de La Plata Stadium here during the Rugby Championship match against Argentina today.

Television pictures showed a light flashing across his face as he lined up his final conversion attempt late in the 54-15 victory by the All Blacks.

Cruden said he wasn't affected by the laser and his vision was not impaired. His conversion of Cory Jane's third try was successful.

"I saw a laser light on the ground actually, that sort of shot through my mind that maybe they were trying to put me off. I just tried to focus on the ball and strike it and luckily it went over.

"I didn't feel anything in my vision, I just saw the laser light down on the ground with the ball. I've seen that done before watching a test match and the crowd is trying to put you off a bit.

"I've never had that before but I've seen it on telly. It's a bit of a shame when things like that when things like that happen but you've just got to sort of be the bigger man and put it past you I suppose.

"Especially with it being the last play it was a bit of a shame but you can't control what the crowd does. You just have to go out there and do what you can do."

Despite talk of the expected feverish atmosphere at the stadium, an impressive structure which normally hosts football games, many of the 50,000 supporters were silenced by the All Blacks' response to conceding the opening try to halfback Martin Landajo.

Cruden replaced Dan Carter at first-five for the final quarter of the match and with his first touch made a break which led to Ma'a Nonu's try under the posts.

Apart from the laser incident, the All Blacks got a good reception from the crowd, who gave them a standing ovation at the finish.

"It was pretty special playing out there tonight, it's not a renowned rugby stadium but it certainly felt like that tonight."

* Patrick McKendry flew to Argentina courtesy of LAN Airlines.

- APNZ

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