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Sam Cane discusses injury concern after All Blacks’ big win over Boks

By Finn Morton
Sam Cane of New Zealand sits on the bench in the second half with an injury during The Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and South Africa Springboks at Mt Smart Stadium on July 15, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

When the All Blacks emerged out of the half-time sheds during their big win over South Africa on Saturday, there was one glaring absentee from the side out on the field.


Following a sensational first-half performance from the men in black, which saw them race out to a stunning 20-3 lead at Mt Smart Stadium, captain Sam Cane was replaced at the break.

Flanker Dalton Papali’i joined an otherwise unchanged side out in the middle as the All Blacks looked to continue their dominance over the defending world champions.

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With this year’s Rugby World Cup less than two months away, the reason for the substitution soon became clear.

Cane was injured.

But the significance of the incident was a question that was yet to be answered ahead of the post-game press conference.

Rugby fans from a small nation at the bottom of the world held their breath as they waited for the news. Eventually, the skipper downplayed the significance of the injury.

“I think it was just before Shannon’s try, I sort of got my neck tweaked,” Cane told reporters post-game. “When we came in at half time I just let the medical staff know then Foz (coach Ian Foster) made the call.


“Probably a bit precautionary but got this coming week to get it right.

“It’s not too bad at the moment.”

The rugby world was shocked by the All Blacks’ relentless dominance over the 2019 World Cup winners throughout the opening 40.

But the Springboks were never going to throw in the towel.

The Springboks’ star-studded bench helped inspire the visitors to an improved second-half performance, but the damage had already been done.

South Africa managed to close the gap to eight points after a try to winger Cheslin Kolbe, but the All Blacks hit back shortly after through electric outside back Will Jordan.

Playmaker Richie Mo’unga added another try in the 77th minute as the All Blacks ran away with a relatively comfortable 35-20 win.


As many rugby fans would agree, it was one of the All Blacks’ best performances in recent memory – potentially their best performance under current coach Ian Foster.

“It was obviously a big game within this Championship, it was built like that, one we get excited about,” Foster said.


“Pretty delighted with the response to this sort of challenge. It wasn’t perfect but we showed a lot of intent.

“I thought we had a desire to play and that was exciting. A lot of swings and roundabouts in the game but I think the way we climbed through some of the ebbs and flows and came out on top was something we’re pretty proud of.”

After retaining the Freedom Cup, the All Blacks will set their sights on more silverware in a couple of weeks’ time.

The New Zealanders will travel across the ditch to take on Eddie Jones’ Wallabies in the first of two Bledisloe Cup Tests.

Australia are coming off back-to-back losses to open their Rugby Championship campaign but it hasn’t stopped Jones from firing a shot at the Kiwis.

As Jones told reporters after the thrilling loss to Argentina in Sydney, the All Blacks need to “look out.”


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James 363 days ago

Eddie should watch out instead of blabbering idiocies and stick to coaching!😎😎

Euan 363 days ago

Australian sack Eddie, and Clarke resign his selection, then all will be as it should be for Wallabies and All Blacks.

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