Planet Rugby

Conversion reprieve delights Cruden

25th November 2013 05:44


aaron cruden new zealand ireland

Second attempt: Aaron Cruden

All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden was delighted to see his second attempt at the match-winning conversion go over against Ireland.

Ryan Crotty's try after the clock had expired levelled the scores at 22-22 in Sunday's thriller in Dublin, with Cruden left to land a tricky conversion from out wide on the left touchline.

After Ireland charged the first conversion attempt early - the kick sailing wide to the right - Cruden was given a second shot by referee Nigel Owens with which he made no mistake to seal the win and an unbeaten year for New Zealand.

"I was pretty stoked to get a second opportunity," said Cruden.

"My kicking style didn't change throughout the game so you would have thought they would be aware of my set-up and that little stutter I do to calm myself.

"It was a shame they charged early but for us, it was great to have another chance and see it go over.

"The fact we can produce a comeback like that, it says so much about this team, and the All Blacks' ability to produce when it matters most.

"You can sense runners coming as you line up the kick but you're trying to stay focused on the task. But I was pretty stoked to get a second crack at it.

"I suppose it was a reprieve, I just wanted to stay focused, stay in my rhythm and strike the ball well. And I was pretty happy to see the flags go up after I'd kicked it.

Cruden described the two-pointer as the most important of his career to date, with the Chiefs fly-half playing a full 80 minutes in the absence of Dan Carter at number ten.

"I would say that is the biggest kick of my life," added Cruden.

"I don't think it comes down to the kick: with 30 seconds to go we were able to get a penalty and launch an attack.

"We stayed to our gameplan, identify space on the left and get over in the corner.

"There was a lot of work done previous to that that helped get us into the history books."

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