Thursday, December 09, 2010
While the November Internationals for 2010 are now a thing of the past and we look towards the fascinating Heineken Cup, there were a few moments that stood out over the past month. This is one of them, from a player that's fast becoming an integral part of the number one ranked side in the world.
All Black Jerome Kaino is now part of a dominant loose trio that includes the formidable talents of Kieran Read and the latest IRB Player of the Year, captain Richie McCaw. The three of them have, as with most of the side, have had a great few months and injuries and form permitting, will no doubt form a powerful partnership heading into a World Cup season.
Kaino, who played a large part of his rugby at number eight, is now firmly securing his place in the team as a blindside who not only carries and links well, but is uncompromising on defence.
With the upcoming Super 15 being the next bit of rugby he'll be involved in, Auckland Blues coach Pat Lam has insisted that after seeing how well he's been playing at number six, they won't be messing about with the 27 year old at eight any longer.
"He's proven he's one of the world's best number sixes and that's one of the reasons why we stacked the number eight position," Lam said of his plans for the Blues squad. "I don't really want to move Jerome there."
The last few games have been huge for Kaino, who alongside Read and McCaw has shown that the All Blacks possess quite possibly the most well balanced loose trio in world rugby currently.
His hit on Bradley Davies against Wales rocked the big second rower, causing a turnover from which the All Blacks counter attacked in typical fashion. It was a significant moment in what turned out to be yet another successful Grand Slam tour for the All Blacks.