It was a couple of years ago that the world was set alight by the offloading ability of kiwi stalwart, Sonny Bill Williams. With school boys around the world trying to emulate his passing in the tackle and the way he was able to put the players around him into space.
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On Saturday in the game between the Crusaders and the Hurricanes, the current powerhouses in New Zealand Rugby. There was no limit to what the players would do to keep the ball alive and their team on the front foot.With Crusaders wing Mataele being set loose down the wing, he took contact and with his foot mere mm from hitting the line, he managed to set the ball loose in arguably one of the best offloads the game has ever seen.

The Most impressive part of these plays though is that there always seems to be unlimited supporting runners which allow for these moments of brilliance. As is always said, a kick is as only good as the chase, the same goes for the offload.

In this instance it was young Flyhalf Richie Mo’unga who was hounding after it. He received the ball beautifully in space and ran it in for a well deserved 5 points. The skill set, support and all round vision to execute such a try, definitely has this writer convinced that it will take a lot to top this as try of the year, and it’s only February.

The commentators during the match were deliberating about the coaching that goes in to creating opportunities like that. However when pulling off these moments of brilliance it sometimes seems like the kiwis just have it bred into them, no coaching required. They continuously show it at all levels.

The Crusaders had another powerful showing, winning the game 38-23. Although the Hurricanes rested many of their star players they looked extremely weak on defense, in the first 60 minutes and you can be sure head coach John Plumtree will be eager to bring the likes of TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett and Ngani Laumape back into the starting team.

It’s a long season but we can definitely look forward to more in every aspect as players look to go beyond the norm and impress, all in the hope of running out for their national sides in Japan later this year.
A World Cup year always comes with added benefits for the fans as the players all step it up a notch.

Written by: Nicholas Halsey
Image credit: The South African