Stats breakdown: TJ Perenara

Date published: October 11 2016

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Picking out a recent outstanding performer, this week we take a look at TJ Perenara's eye-catching outing for the All Blacks in Durban.

All our stats are based on the Fantasy Rugby Championship game on SuperBru. Join our Champions Cup Fantasy game here.

Most of the world's attention last week centred on another All Blacks scrum-half, but then that's nothing new for TJ Perenara, who throughout his international career has had to bide his time behind Aaron Smith.

In fact prior to last weekend Perenara had never started back-to-back games for New Zealand, his 25 caps thus far made up of six starts and 19 appearances from the bench.

Now a Super Rugby winner after success with the Hurricanes, much like Smith the year before with the Highlanders, Perenara's combination with Beauden Barrett in the half-backs for both franchise and now country is the best in the world.

And Perenara was so good against the Springboks that calls for him to now take on the starting job full time are growing louder.

Smith's one-match suspension has now been served, making him eligible to play against the Wallabies on October 22, but he won't exactly be walking back into the role.

Assistant coach Ian Foster summed up Perenara's improvements by saying that he is becoming "more of a master of the core skills", and that was evident at King's Park, flinging out wide passes with perfect timing to go with his ability to snipe.

How his first try was given when he appeared to knock on rolling the ball forward remains a mystery, but his second score was served up on a plate by Dane Coles, the end of another outstanding move.

Perenara's dangerous running took him past two defenders on two cleans breaks in Durban as the All Blacks ran riot. 

Whether Smith returns the starting line-up or not, the gap between him and Perenara has certainly shrunk over the last few months.

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