All Blacks legends relive iconic World Cup try against Springboks
Of all the hotdog passes that have ever been thrown in rugby, none is more famous than Carlos Spencer’s to Joe Rokocoko. Plenty have been thrown since, but never on such a big stage.
After all, this was for the All Blacks in a World Cup quarter-final against probably their greatest World Cup foes. It is not really the time or place for flamboyant play like that, even if the game was basically wrapped up at that point. But if anyone would go for a pass like that, it is Spencer. And that’s why the try has gone down in folklore.
Well the two players recently discussed the try for World Rugby, and the partnership that they had developed while playing for the Blues. It was a relationship which was basically ‘expect the unexpected’, and it paid off.
“Los is a classic guy that I like to play with,” Rokocoko said. “If there’s one thing that I’ve always remembered about him is just whenever I was playing on the wing, he was always wanting me to give him options. Whether it be inside or outside. And he’s a mysterious guy, you never know what he’s going to come up with. The try we scored, I think it was obviously great work from out forward pack. We got the ball away and Los, for some reason, instinct just kicked in from him. He was reading off what was happening in front and I was just reading off what Carlos normally does- I don’t know what to expect. But you expect something when he touches the ball and it came obviously through his legs. It was no surprise, to be honest. Like, I didn’t go ‘wow’, I was like normal, because it’s what he does.”
“That sort of stuff, that’s instinct in the moment,” Spencer added. “You can’t prepare for that sort of stuff. The thing for me, I suppose at the time was just to get rid of the ball as quick as possible and it was just through the legs. So a lot of that stuff is just instinct, but it’s knowing and understanding the players around you.”