Crotty hopes to deny Ireland once again

Date published: November 2 2016

New Zealand centre Ryan Crotty hopes to disappoint Irish fans yet again when the two teams meet in Chicago on Saturday.

Crotty said he has spent the last three years apologising to all of Ireland for the overtime try that denied head coach Schmidt's men a maiden victory over New Zealand in November 2013.

Ireland led 22-17 in the last minute at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, but the All Blacks won back possession and worked the necessary phases which led to Crotty's try in the corner.

"I've pretty much had to apologise to every Irishman I've met since that day," Crotty said. 

"It was a special moment for me and our team. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to score another try on Saturday. For me it was a very special moment. I was just happy to let the All Blacks be successful."

Crotty will come up against an old Crusaders colleague come Saturday when he lines up against Ireland's Jared Payne.

Crotty jokingly remembers Payne as a "smart ass" at the Crusaders, always bossing the centres around from full-back.

The New Zealand U21 graduate Payne swapped his homeland for Ulster in 2011 and has since won 16 caps for Ireland.

"I played with Payno back at the Crusaders; crikey, that's going back eight or nine years," Crotty said of Payne.

"It'd be cool to catch up with him. He's been in contact, so we might get a chance to meet up before the weekend. It'd be awesome to lock horns. It's always a good battle going up against your opposite number, so hopefully I'll get a chance to play against him.

"He was a real smart ass back in the day. He played full-back, so he was always chipping at the midfielders telling us to pass it. I'm very blessed to get the opportunity to get my chance in the midfield this year.

"I'm happy I've been able to make the most of it this year. There's four more big games this year. If I can play well in those four games I'll be pretty proud of the effort I put into the black jersey this year."