'He just about went over the dead-ball line': Hansen on Dagg's near miss
He may have played 66 tests for the All Blacks, won two Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders and a World Cup, but in his first year with the All Blacks Israel Dagg copped a stern talking to from Sir Steve Hansen.
Dagg was 22 at the time and had just played a key part in securing a famous All Blacks comeback against the then world champions, South Africa.
It was 2010 and the All Blacks found themselves 22-17 down with ten minutes to play in Soweto.
A controversial Richie McCaw try ensured that the game was levelled with a minute to go before Ma’a Nonu made a busting run through the Springbok defence in midfield. His floated pass then found Dagg on the wing, who cruised in for the match-winning score.
It was Dagg’s second ever test try and the youngster was understandably excited, celebrating the score before touching down perhaps a little too close to the dead-ball line. Or at least for Hansen’s liking, who had a few choice words for Dagg about the incident after the full time whistle.
Speaking to Dagg and former Blackcap Brendon McCullum on SENZ Breakfast earlier this week, Hansen recalled the events from that day.
“He scored a try against South Africa late in the game and he started showboating before he put the ball down and then just about went over the dead-ball line,” said Hansen.
“He got a rocket afterwards. He was feeling pretty good about himself because he scored the winning try, but he got a rocket for just about missing it. He never actually did too much showboating after that,” commented an amused Hansen.
“He was very, very excited, but he just about forgot to put it down he was so excited.”
Dagg was candid in his apologetic reply, but was quick to point out that some teammates hadn’t exactly helped to ease the situation either.
David Havili, a little like Ben Smith in 2013, has emerged as an accidental hero in an unfamiliar position – but it could be the break he needs to take him to international stardom. #AllBlackshttps://t.co/CWl5G5yTY1
— The XV Rugby (@TheXV) July 21, 2021
“I have to apologise about that,” Dagg said to Hansen.
“It was actually quite funny. I was running back, so excited, I was pumped, we were in Soweto, 98,000 people. Mils Muliaina was playing fullback and I was playing wing and he said, ‘Don’t ever do that again’. I was so elated, but I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, sweet as’.
“So I went away and went back into the changing rooms and Steve comes over and absolutely drills me, gives it to me.
“I was a young fella, it was my first year in the team, and he walks off. My good mate Cory Jane was next to me and I was like, ‘Ceej, doesn’t he know I just won us the game?’
“Then Cory being Cory, he’s got to have the last laugh, CJ gets up and he goes, ‘Ohhhh, he just said he won the game for us’. Then Steve looks back and gives me the eye. So never ever open your mouth next to Cory Jane.”
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