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Former All Black captain credits Crusaders duo for dismantling 'one trick pony' Boks

By Sam Smith
Kieran Read with the Freedom Cup

Former All Black captain Kieran Read has credited first five Richie Mo’unga and new forwards coach Jason Ryan for their roles in taking apart the Springboks at Ellis Park.


Speaking on SENZ Radio on the The Run Home Show, the 128-test No 8 thought that forcing the Springboks to use their bench so early contributed to them tiring out late in the game.

The All Blacks scored two tries in that final 10 minute period which proved crucial in securing a famous win.

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“Richie Mo’unga was the guy for me, who steered the ship around and got us in the right areas of the field,” Read told The Run Home hosts Kirstie Stanway & Stephen Donald.

“The way the Springboks selected their team, I think the fact that we made them go to their bench early really helped us down that back end.

“They want Marx to come on and only play 40 minutes and Kitshoff, a few of their other big players, even Vermeulen could only go 30 minutes.

“It was a testament to our start, which hadn’t been at our best all year. Guys put them under pressure and I think it paid dividends in the back end.”


The All Blacks were able to play an up tempo game which got South Africa out of their comfort zone, unable to rest at stoppages as often as they like.

On stopping the Boks game, Read described it as a ‘brutal’ type of game but that they are a bit of a ‘one trick pony’.

“Even on the weekend where we played pretty well, there was periods of play where they were able to get a bit of a roll on,” he said.

“They could score points on us and put us under a lot of pressure.

“They are, in some cases you could say a one-trick pony in the way they play. It’s just a brutal game plan from them.


“It’s so brilliant, you know? Mapimpi chasing high balls, it’s not 50-50 when he’s chasing it. He’s catching everything.

“And they’ve got their maul. So you’ve got to give kudos to our forward pack for scrumming well and stopping the maul basically over the whole series.

“Stop them winning penalties to then kick to the corner and have another shot.”


The promotion of Crusaders forward coach Jason Ryan seemed to have an immediate impact with the All Black scrum improving over the two tests while the maul defence become almost impenetrable overnight.

After conceding multiple maul tries to the Ireland pack, the Springboks were unable to score any over the two test series as scrum & maul penalties dried up.

On what kind of impact Ryan has had, the former Crusaders great said his former coach would have helped align the pack more and used his existing relationships to change a few things.

“I think it’s hard to see too much detail … and maybe the attitude was the biggest one he could shift over in South Africa,” Read said.

“Just getting the guys more aligned I think could help.

“Jase is a smart man, and he would’ve seen a few things that he could’ve just provided up to a few guys, individually.

“I think the way he’s got his senior players in that forward pack stepping up.

“I guess he can lean on a few Crusaders; Sam Whitelock I’m sure would’ve had a big impact in there, echoing a bit of what Jase has been saying.

“And then Scott Barrett, I thought, had one of his best games in the lock jersey as well, he was brilliant and went all 80 minutes.

“So, he deserves a bit of credit there, old Jase.”


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Frans 703 days ago

One trick pony? This one trick pony is presently the RWC Champions who at the 2019 RWC put up a few record e.g. first team ever to lose a pool game and go through to the final. Not only go through but win the title. Team with last tries against them. Put the biggest score margin in a final of RWC history remember 35-12 vs a team who dismantled the All Blacks 19-7 One trick pony, any time with performances like this.

A 704 days ago

I credit the win to ma'nonu on his comments to Jeff Wilson pre game interview on the breakdown "I believe in the boys" simple as that!

Don 704 days ago

It is Patently obvious that between Foster who is not the A.B's coach on merit and the Contender Robertson who should have gone in to the coaching role on his own merit given his brilliant coaching record to date.
Not just his work with the Crusaders but with his record with the
Under 20's Junior a.b's as well
Add His all time record of 6 Super titles and it should have been a no brainer even to this lightweight Board and executive.
But no, no guts and little brain.
The All Blacks have played poorly this year, their record is pretty average and it is a major missed opportunity for New Zealand rugby and especially for the Fans who have been badly let down.
Sadest of all, we stand to lose Robertson here to the game here for some time and what means is the loss to our National game of rugby that Razor would have brought.
What a huge loss that is.

Allan 704 days ago

Remember the SR Finals in 2017 & 2018?? The Lions had a much vaunted forward pack that scored many, many tries all season from mauls off lineouts close to the try line. They came up against the Crusaders in the Final AT ELLIS PARK 2017, and the Lions not only didn't score from the mauls, but they got pushed back outside the 22 on several occasions that I can remember!! Exactly the same thing happened here in Christchurch the next year!! To say the least, it confused them, and they didn't know what the hell to do next!! And Jason Ryan was the forwards coach under Razor.....imagine how much better the AB forwards will be if he's under Razor again, and they get rid of some of the passengers!!

Brett 704 days ago

7 crusaders? I thought akira and ardie were from somewhere else.
Notice how read stays clear of being critical of his mate Sam cane.
Let’s not forget the majority of the forwards that started were not crusaders and it’s wrong to not acknowledge the work they done along with whitelock and Barrett. Drop cane and we’ll have a forwards pack that can match any pack in the world

Sofia 704 days ago

Totally agree with Read. The defense was impressive when all 7 Crusader players were on in the last part of the game.

Michael 705 days ago

Whitelock was immense together with Scott Barrett and Frizzell we had a lineout that functioned - ok Samisoni needs to tidy up his long throw

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