It’s fair to say that no All Black captain has had the kind of season that Sam Cane had. Andy Dalton had to watch as he captained the side he was appointed to in the 1987 World Cup, while Tana Umaga faced Brian O’Driscoll for the British and Irish Lions tour in 2005. Fred Allen wore his boots over the side of the boat home after a 0-4 series loss in South Africa in 1949, and Reuben Thorne had to put up and nobody noticed he was even playing.
But that was then, this is now. It’s fair to say Cane was under the microscope, but you really didn’t need one in 2023 because everything notable he did made headlines. It wasn’t always good, but it certainly wasn’t bad either. Here’s a look back at the ski season:
Super Rugby was great…
Cane entered 2023 with some questions about his form and whether he should be in the All Black team even if he was ahead of the World Cup. It didn’t take long for the Chiefs jersey to start answering those questions, especially after they went down to Christchurch in round one of the Super Rugby Pacific and suffered the heaviest home loss to the Crusaders ever. It was the Chiefs’ stout run defense, with Cane at the heart of it, that sent them to the home finals with 13 wins and just one loss.
…until it wasn’t
The final did not go so well. To be fair, the Crusaders have had plenty of practice winning finals recently, which has resulted in the Chiefs picking up three yellow cards. Cane’s was the most costly, sent into the bin in the 72nd minute and directly leading to Codie Taylor’s winning try. As if that wasn’t disappointing enough, Cane didn’t show up to the post-game media conference as coach Clayton McMillan decided to do it himself, but really he should have known to show his face in front of the cameras because he turned that’s a story in itself.
Mt Smart’s first half masterpiece
Until the Rugby World Cup quarter-final, the All Blacks’ display at Mt Smart in their 35-20 win over the Springboks was regarded as the best performance since the Ian Foster era. Again, Cane came out on top, brutally disrupting a stunned Bok pack in the first half. Unfortunately, that’s where it ended as Cane didn’t re-emerge for the second half. He injured his neck, a devastating injury since he broke it in 2018, and that meant Ardie Savea would take over as captain for the next test.
After Savea led the All Blacks to a comfortable win over the Wallabies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Cane returned for the return match in Dunedin. It didn’t go quite as planned – the All Blacks were 17-3 down at half-time and Cane was narrow again at the business end of the game. In his absence, they managed to manufacture a penalty that won the match.
Unfortunately Cane would lead the All Blacks to their worst ever defeat in their long history and they managed to pick up another yellow card in the process. The only positive thing about this game is that it is a little easier to flush from the memory banks since it was a little meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
A magical night in Paris
After a poor start to the World Cup campaign, then a run of marshmallow matches, confidence was not high going into the quarter-final against an Irish team who came down to New Zealand last year and won a series. But this was Cane’s finest hour, not just as a player but as a leader. He made 21 tackles in a dominant performance, echoing his previous best effort against the men in green back in 2016. This was an incredible Test match, showcasing all that is good about Test rugby, and Cane was his main man.
Red card in the final
Unfortunately, the All Black v Springbok World Cup final can ultimately be described as the complete opposite. TMO interference, enough cards to handle a poker hand and an effective time warp for New Zealanders back to 2007 for Wayne Barnes to be the main topic of conversation. When Cane shot over Jesse Kriel in the 28th minute he became the first man to be killed in a World Cup final, and although Siya Kolisi was almost with him and the margin of defeat was only one point, he admitted that it will be something. which will be on his mind for the rest of his life.
Feeling the love
Cane has now gone to Japan for a stint at Tokyo Sungoliath but was given a warm welcome when he returned to New Zealand. His words at Auckland Airport were exactly what the country needed to hear and the reaction on social media showed that the indomitable nature of All Black fans is maturing a bit. What the future holds for Sam Cane, with a new All Black team and a World Cup cycle looming, will be interesting.
Denial of responsibility! vismuseum.org.in is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – at firstname.lastname@example.org The content will be deleted within 24 hours.