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New video shows Sam Cane was surprisingly good at one thing for the All Blacks

By Kim Ekin

All Blacks captain Sam Cane has become renown for his hard-hitting and work rate after 95 Tests and for being one of the most respected players inside the international arena.


Graduating from the famous title-winning New Zealand U20 side in 2011, the Chiefs No.7 went on to debut for the All Blacks the very next year in 2012 against Ireland.

He debuted in the 22-19 win in Christchurch in the second Test and scored his very first try in the 60-0 hammering a week later in the third on his home ground in Hamilton.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

As a tribute to the captain who will retire at the end of the 2024 Test season, highlights of his early playing days has been released which re-lives the start of his career which reveals he was surprisingly very good at one specific part of the game.

The art of seagulling, where loose forwards float out in the wider channels, was once a hallmark of Cane’s early playing days and he picked up a healthy amount of Test tries in the process.

He bagged his first for the All Blacks from an Aaron Cruden offload and just had to dive over from close range to profit. In the same Test he snatched his second in similar fashion, this time on a support line on the inside hanging off Aaron Smith.


Through the 2012 and 2013 seasons Cane scored tries like a winger, taking the last pass and using his size to power over any defender in his way. His excellent support play also helped him cross the chalk as the recipient of the last pass.


He scored six tries in his first 13 Tests, at a strike rate of 0.46 which is abnormal for a flanker. All-time great centre Ma’a Nonu finished with a strike rate of 0.30, while Tana Umaga finished with 0.46.

Of course, as the All Blacks’ game plans changed and Cane’s role within that changed, his try scoring rate dropped. From his 95 Tests he has 16 at a strike rate of 0.17.

The montage package fails to highlight any of Cane’s turnovers or bruising tackles, of which he became famous for.

But most will forget during Cane’s first two seasons with the All Blacks he had a habit of bagging tries.



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Bull Shark 67 days ago

One tough SOB!

MattJH 67 days ago

Truely great player. In social media and opinion pieces he was held up and flogged for the results.
People wanted someone to crucify, and he was the captain.
He was still an immense presence respected by his peers. His battles with Siya Kolisi belong up with with Collins vs Burger in my opinion.
Unlucky to be carded in the final, but I don’t agree that his red card was the defining moment. Not when you look at the dominant performances of the Springboks (PSDT in particular.)
I think Cane should be remembered for the spirit and physicality that is special to test rugby.

Easy_Duzz-it 67 days ago

Sam was the man until he got injured .

etienne 68 days ago

I do think the media in NZ treated him badly. Sam is a legend. He is humble, a great rugby mind and leader. What happened in the final could happen to anyone. The margins is so fine these days. I lay blame at the feet of the coaching staff and NZ rugby. The stats tell’s all. The AB’s was the worst disciplined side in the WC with more red and yellow cards than anyone else. Problem is NZ rugby is not training their players to play safer. And thats the danger a fast game brings. More yellow and red cards. But Sam Cane in my eye was and still is a great ambassador for the game, that just had a stroke of bad luck.

David 68 days ago

Got a lot of over the top abuse from Crusader fans, in particular, who thought every 7 they had was miles better. Now we will see if anyone is better? Laid his body on the line every game so finishing early makes sense. A lot of life left after rugby.

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