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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Luke McAlister's 63m penalty kick for North Harbour

Former All Black Luke McAlister kicked a massive 63 meter penalty kick last weekend for North Harbour when they played Auckland in the ITM Cup in New Zealand. It was requested so here it is, another great entry in the archive, which includes a few other incredible long range efforts.

McAlister has struggled to cement his place in the All Black squad since heading back to New Zealand from his few seasons playing rugby up north in the UK. Repeat injuries, form, and a few other top contenders being on the map have all meant that hes not been an automatic selection at the highest level.

His goal is, as with other high profile Kiwi backs, to make the World Cup squad for next year. He is aiming to use this seasons ITM Cup campaign as a way to stick his hand up and get noticed by the selectors once again, seeing as he only played three Super 14 games.

"It's a good opportunity for me to get back to where I want to be. The ITM Cup isn't at the level of test rugby so it gives you the chance to do a bit more as a player in a more relaxed atmosphere," says McAlister.

"Only playing a couple of weeks here and there, it's hard to get consistent form. I haven't really had that in the 12 months since coming home. My goal right now is to to get back playing consistent rugby... and to be injury free."

He did play for the New Zealand Maori against England and signs were encouraging, leaing to him being selected as cover for Dan Carter against Wales recently. The depth of the squad at the moment has meant that hes finding times tough.

McAlister has hinted that if he doesnt end up making the world cup squad next year, he may head back up north where hes wanted, and can take care of his future financially. North Harbour assistant coach, former All Black, Jeff Wilson still believes in him though.

"Class is permanent, form is temporary. He's too good a player and too talented not to bounce back from these challenges. I'm expecting big things from him," Wilson said.

As you can see here, hes still got a bit of the x-factor that has made him valuable to every side he turns out for. This huge penalty kick, in damp conditions and with a side-wind, will add to his confidence and hopefully well see him performing more consistently this season.

Some other notable monster penalties:
Paul Thorburn in 1986 | Dan Carter in 2006 | Riaan Viljoen in 2008

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