Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

McCaw hails experienced hands

Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw

Skipper Richie McCaw says the ability of his fellow senior players to rise to the occasion when the pressure was on proved the difference in New Zealand's miraculous come-from-behind 23-22 win over Australia at ANZ Stadium.

As always McCaw, who led the All Blacks out to battle for the 52nd time to surpass Sean Fitzpatrick as the most capped Kiwi captain in history, played a leading role in the victory after scoring the match-turning try after 67 minutes.

But typically, the 29-year-old was quick to deflect the praise onto his team-mates, and said: "When you get in situations like that out there the key is to be composed and keep believing in what you're doing."

He added: "We trained all week how we wanted to play and perhaps the first 50 minutes we didn't execute it and we were behind on the scoreboard.

"When it came down to having to get things right, the guys that you expect to do that were putting their hand up and that's what I see as pleasing.

"And then the guys that haven't been through that experience before can sort of follow on and do what the rest are doing, so it's not rocket science at all. It's just everyone being on the same page and doing it well I think."

Asked the significance of his captaincy milestone, a modest McCaw replied: "I don't get too carried away with those sorts of things and going into a game like that you've got to go out and still do your job.

"But I suppose when you reflect on those sorts of milestones to have a win under your belt certainly makes it nice, but yeah, I guess it's something I'm proud of."

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