McCaw thanks team-mates for milestone

Last updated 05:00 08/10/2012
Richie McCaw
Getty Images
CENTURY OF WINS: All Blacks' captain Richie McCaw.

Related Links

Rampant All Blacks on course for record Opinion: All Blacks still aiming for excellence Hosea hits top Gear against Sprinboks Sky the limit for All Blacks, says Boks skipper South Africans are in awe of Richie McCaw All Blacks outclass the Springboks in Soweto Untouchable All Blacks take game to next level Praise for McCaw as he notches 100th victory

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Controversial tactics heap pressure on All Blacks coach Steve Hansen Toby Robson and Liam Napier preview All Blacks vs Tonga at the Rugby World Cup Former All Blacks Piri Weepu and Luke McAlister refused release for Jerry Collins tribute match All Blacks in awe of Newcastle's St James' Park on eve of final pool match Sonny Bill Williams reveals his latest ball-carrying trick - 13 balls at a time Tonga confident of recording major Rugby World Cup upset against the All Blacks Right wing spot up for grabs as All Blacks polish pool plan in Newcastle All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter primed for World Cup response against Tonga Ma'a Nonu tries to duck spotlight ahead of 100th test for the All Blacks Risking Richie McCaw 'pointless' in Rugby World Cup clash with Tonga

In typical modest fashion, Richie McCaw's first response was to thank his team for helping him achieve 100 test wins yesterday.

Having just completed a clean sweep of the inaugural Rugby Championship with a comprehensive 32-16 victory over the Springboks in Soweto, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen led the tributes to his captain, the heart and soul of his side.

McCaw, the first and only player to reach a century of wins, has tasted defeat just 12 times in his coveted All Blacks career - five each to Australia and South Africa and once to England and France, respectively.

"That's very special. I don't think that's been achieved by anyone before him," Springboks captain Jean de Villiers reluctantly stated.

McCaw's unique ability to endure pain was typified during the Rugby World Cup. He carried a debilitating foot injury through most of the tournament and, against the Boks, again competed ferociously, this time on one good leg.

"That's pretty spectacular so congratulations cobber," Hansen said to McCaw.

"We've got a guy that's won 100 test matches because he's got mental strength and can go into those dark places that you have to go to perform over-and-over again."

Sporting a nasty shiner that closed over his right eye from a clash with Owen Franks, McCaw's head was bowed; he briefly smiled at his coach before deflecting praise to his team-mates.

That almost bashful nature sums up why McCaw is considered the greatest All Black, certainly of the modern era.

Despite his achievements he remains humble and realises no-one is bigger than the team. Those are very rare qualities for someone of his stature.

As Hansen would attest, there is no-one more vital to the All Blacks than the 31-year-old openside flanker.

"It's definitely pretty special," McCaw said after his 75th game as skipper.

"I don't often put personal stuff ahead of what you're trying to do out on the field but after a performance like that, I'm thankful just to be out there. To get to 100 wins you've got to be apart of a special team to be able to do that.

"I've been lucky to be with a good bunch of men over a long period of time and today was another example of the fun you can have when you get the right result."

Ad Feedback

It came as no surprise to Crusaders team-mate Kieran Read that McCaw was uncomfortable with the accolades.

"That's just the man he is. The way he does things it's all about the team, that's a great characteristic to have.

"When you look at the win ratio he has it's phenomenal. He does it every week. He's a big part of why the All Blacks have won so many."

As a player, McCaw has evolved his game. He is now a form of hybrid loose-forward with a range of skills, but as Read explained, his inspirational leadership is the most valuable asset.

"It's hard to think he's had a bad game across his career, from when I was watching or playing with him,"

Read said. "It's incredibly motivating for us as a group to see him leading us that way and still
doing it."

- Stuff


Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content