Sam Cane's controversial clearout that resulted in double cheekbone fracture
By Rugby Onslaught

Sam Cane’s controversial clearout that resulted in double cheekbone fracture

Sam Cane has faced some criticism this season, but one thing people cannot take away from him is that he is as hard as nails, and that was shown on Saturday against Japan in Tokyo.

The All Blacks’ captain butted heads with Kazuki Himeno on 70 minutes and has subsequently been ruled out of the All Blacks’ tour of the northern hemisphere with a double fracture to his cheekbone. Nevertheless, he impressively played on as the All Blacks prevented an almighty upset to win 38-31.

Himeno had been at the centre of attention just a few minutes before after Brodie Retallick was red carded for a dangerous clearout of the flanker at a ruck. Looking at Cane’s attempted clearout which resulted in his injury, there might actually be a case that he should have been in trouble as well as ultimately there was head on head contact. One thing to take away from this match is how strong Himeno is over the ball and what a strong position he gets himself into.

Cane described the incident to the All Blacks’ website on Sunday, saying: “Caleb Clarke carried. I went in to clean from the outside, and David Havili came from the inside. I was the cleaner, the Japanese player moved late, and we hit heads.

“I got up slowly, and without having done my cheekbone before, I knew I had probably done my cheekbone. I could feel it when I put my hand on my head. And I could feel the blood in my mouth.

“It was sort of sore but numb at the same time. Because it wasn’t too sore, and there were only 10 minutes to go, I wasn’t too concerned, but I knew it wasn’t too good.

“The game was in the balance at that point, and it didn’t restrict my ability to play and perform so I was happy to carry on.”

Jared Wright has recently shared this exact moment that Cane described: