OPINION: Brilliance. It's something you either have or you don't. Cory Jane has it.
So far this season the Wellington utility back has been allowed to show only flashes of his audacious talent with the national selectors using him like salt and pepper on the overcooked piece of meat that has been the All Blacks backline this season.
A little bit of Jane here, a touch of Cory there.
The fact he had to take a back seat to out-of-form wings like Joe Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu seems a crying shame.
The message from last night's 33-6 victory over Australia at Westpac Stadium in Wellington is that Jane should be a permanent fixture in the All Blacks line-up he is one of those players, like Christian Cullen, that you just make room for, because he can make things happen.
And if there's one thing this season has shown us, it's that the All Blacks need an injection of something, anything, to escape the rut of plodding, mistake-ridden, rugby so easily nullified by the Springboks.
With the Tri Nations wooden spoon on the line last night, the All Blacks' win meant they ended this season suffering only a moderate amounts of angst, instead of what could so easily have been black despair.
And one of the main reasons was Jane's piece of individual brilliance last night.
His try, his first in All Blacks colours, was a thing of beauty.
It was ballet in boots and came at a vital time with the All Blacks reduced to 14 men after Isaia Toeava had been sinbinned for a dangerous tackle on James O'Connor, the fresh-faced Wallabies fullback who looks like every tackle could endanger him.
Ironically, it was O'Connor who was left floundering as Jane, who could have been wearing a jet-pack, soared above the teenager and delicately palmed the falling bird that was Mils Muliaina's up and under.
Ball safely in hand, Jane skipped a tackle and sailed over the line for what looked like being, until late scores by Ma'a Nonu and Joe Rokocoko, the All Blacks' only try.
His brilliance was on show again in the second half before a hand injury forced him from the field to a stirring ovation.
Some certainly would have stood and cheered, because if there's one thing rugby fans in this country can recognise, it's talent.
It's time for the coaches to do likewise.
- Sunday Star Times
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