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'Don't you ever do that again' - Dagg's 2010 ripping out in front of team

By Ian Cameron
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen and Israel Dagg during the New Zealand All Blacks captain's run at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Former All Blacks back Israel Dagg has broken down his 2010 match-winner for New Zealand against South Africa in Soweto in the Rugby Championship.

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Dagg scored a late winning try as the All Blacks beat the Springboks in front of 98,000 people in Soccer City, one of the All Blacks’ most impressive victories.

Dagg was telling the story ahead of the upcoming Rugby Championship opener between the Boks and All Blacks in Nelspruit on Saturday.

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Ian Foster has two games to prove himself
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Ian Foster has two games to prove himself

“I remember that game. The one you alluded to is one I got in trouble. Soccer City in front of 98,000. We’re losing, I think by two tries in the last five minutes.

“Richie McCaw had a freakish finish in the right hand corner. Three South African defenders against Richie McCaw, our openside flanker, who has a big heart but finesse? Finishing? You know… a bit questionable. But how about that finish? It was so good.

“He scores in the corner. They went upstairs. It was touch and go but they awarded the try.”

After the restart the Springboks had possession when a huge hit by All Blacks hooker Kevin Mealamu on centre Jean De Villiers saw the All Blacks win a turnover.

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“We counter ruck and you watch Nigel Owens – he’s reffing – and he’s about to penalise us. Then he doesn’t and we’re thankful he doesn’t.

“We blow over. Mil Muliaina gets the balls and throws it to Ma’a Nonu.

“You’ve got John Smit, poor John Smit. Playing his 100th Test for South Africa, goes to tackle Ma’a. He holds onto his leg but pulls his boot off, so Ma’a is running down the field with one boot.

“Mils is on the inside, I’m on the outside. I managed to just get in front of my winger to get into a good support line and Ma’a looks inside and goes ‘Nah, not Milsy’, looks out, sees me. I’m a young, 21-year-old, excited, thinking about the after-party, where we’re going. Catch this ball, I’m running, and looking around ‘This is pretty cool! 98,000 people. I’m the man here, let’s go!”

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“So I start [raises arm in the air], chahooing and then I’m like ‘Wow, I better put the ball down here’.

Dagg put it down with just a couple of inches to spare and the All Blacks won the game. Yet despite winning the game for New Zealand with his 79th minute try, All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen wasn’t at all happy with his young charge after the game.

“And then we get back in the changing room and we’re all on top of the world. We’ve just come back from nowhere to win in South Africa. We’re sitting there having a nice quiet Steinlager with the boys and we’re chipping away. Then Steve Hansen walks in. ‘How you going boys?’.

Hansen then turns to Dagg: “Don’t you ever do that again” and I’m like what? “Don’t you ever celebrate before you put the ball down.”

“I’m like ‘Sorry coach. It’s all good’ And he walks off and I go to Cory Jane and go ‘Doesn’t he know I just won us the game?’

“CJ being Cory just gets up and goes ‘Awh! He just said he won us the game!’ And Steve looks around and looks all angry and I go ‘CJ you bloody…’. It was CJ being CJ, always got to have a laugh.

“Steve rips me out in front of the team and then I just have a little laugh and CJ throws me under bus, so that’s my memory!

“Tell you what kids, you at home, if you’re about to score a try: Put it down with two hands and never ever celebrate before you score the try.”

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