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

All Blacks captain Sam Cane has become famous for his powerful batting and work rate after 95 Tests and for being one of the most respected players within the international scene.

After graduating from the famous title-winning New Zealand Under-20s side in 2011, the Chiefs No.7 made his debut for the All Blacks the following year in 2012 against Ireland.

He made his debut in the 22-19 win at Christchurch in the second test and scored his first try in the 60-0 batting a week later in the third test on his home ground in Hamilton.

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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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