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‘Incorrectly reported’: Why Sam Cane didn’t 'front the press' after SRP Final

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

After a stellar season in Super Rugby Pacific, there was no fairytale finish for the Chiefs in last weekend’s decider at FMG Stadium Waikato. But not long after the full-time siren had sounded, another twist came as a surprise to reporters.


Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan fronted the media on his own after the gut-wrenching 25-20 defeat to the champion Crusaders in the final, without co-captains Sam Cane and Brad Weber.

The absence of Cane, who is also the captain of the All Blacks, ruffled some feathers within the rugby community – including some fans on social media.

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Among those who expressed their concern, Newshub’s rugby reporter Ollie Ritchie said Cane’s “decision” was “disappointing” – adding that it was “unbecoming of an All Blacks captain.”

But Cane has hit back at any and all incorrect reports.

After the All Blacks’ jersey for this year’s Rugby World Cup was revealed, Cane attempted to clarify what actually happened.

“It’s been misreported or incorrectly reported that I made the decision not to go to the presser but as a matter of fact Clayton made that decision on his own that he would front the press,” Cane told 1News.


“Obviously I’ve been involved in some tough losses in the past and have always fronted up – it was only five minutes post-game (on Saturday) and I was on the field addressing the crowd and acknowledging the Crusaders – so it wasn’t a case of not fronting up.


“Clayton made that decision and I only found out about 20 minutes later.”

The Chiefs started their season with a emphatic win over the Crusaders in Christchurch, and beat them again in late April.

But the Chiefs needed to create history in last weekend’s decider, and ultimately fell short. No team has ever beaten the Crusaders three times in a single campaign.

Tries to Shaun Stevenson and Emoni Narawa saw the hosts take a five-point lead into the business end of the final. With less than 10 minutes to play, the Chiefs worked tirelessly in defence – hoping to hold off the Crusaders’ relentless attack.

But, with eight minutes left on the clock, disaster struck.

Co-captain Cane was yellow carded, and the Crusaders ultimately made the most of their one-player advantage.


All Black Codie Taylor crossed for a crucial score in the 73rd minute, and departing Crusaders Richie Mo’unga added the extras.

The Chiefs were only beaten twice this season, but unfortunately for them, one of those losses came in the biggest game of the season.

“We put a lot into the season and then to lose at home in front of our fans in what was a close game, a lot of boys were hurting and it’s taken us a few days to recover,” Cane said.

“But now that the dust has settled a little bit we can look back and have plenty to be proud of in what was an awesome season.”

The All Blacks fly out to Argentina on Sunday for their first Test match of the season.

New Zealand will take on Los Pumas in Mendoza before returning home to face fierce rivals South Africa in Auckland.


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