The All Blacks' crushing Bledisloe Cup win over Australia at Eden Park gave Richie McCaw the perfect farewell to New Zealand footy fields.

This August night was already etched in history, because McCaw's 142nd test took him past the the world mark originally set by Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll.

With the All Blacks well on the way to a 41 - 13 win, Steve Hansen could replace McCaw with 12 minutes to go, giving the crowd a chance to honour the humble and legendary All Black captain. McCaw charged towards the bench like he charged everywhere else. The crowd stood, and cheered, for the man who never stops.

I will never forget that moment, the sudden realisation that this was it, the last time most of us at the ground would see him playing in the flesh.


McCaw said: "I'm probably not a guy that gets too emotional but there was a lump in my throat I tell you. It's hard to explain ... but I didn't want that feeling, that moment, to stop.
It's a memory you'll always have. Even talking about it now you feel a little shiver down your spine. It was awesome, really."

Other famous players were also making their last appearances on home soil - Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Blues frontrowers Tony Woodcock and Keven Mealamu. But with no disrespect to them, this was McCaw's night and it was lumps in throats all round.

No script was provided, or needed. Everyone played their part.

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