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Watch - Parkes shown video message after match - he couldn't stop crying

By RugbyPass
Parkes

As Welsh players and fans were celebrating a hard-fought 24-22 victory against South Africa on Saturday afternoon, another story had unfolded on the pitch with Hadleigh Parkes not only making his debut for the home side but also putting in a man of the match performance.

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The New Zealand born centre, who is 30, gathered two tries in his stand-out performance and was extremely happy when he came off the field. “It’s a dream come true. It’s a privilege to have played here in front of 65,000,” Parkes said.

“To score two tries on my debut, well you dream of these things happening. It’s an amazing feeling. Three years ago, I would not have believed this would happen. You hear about the old Cardiff Arms Park and the singing. I made an effort with the anthem and I hope it went ok.”

 

Speaking of his breakout performance, head coach and fellow Kiwi Warren Gatland, was his usual deadpan self in speaking of his star man, “he did ok, yeah.

“He’s done great. It was a fantastic pick-up for the first try. Some nice kick throughs and stuff. He’s saying in the changing room he has a 100 percent record, so he’s pretty happy with himself.”

Before making his debut, his parents and friends from New Zealand had sent video messages of support to Parkes who was later shown the clips and became very emotional, which you can see below.

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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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