Rapid Blues halfback Jonathan Ruru showed outstanding speed and skill to snatch one from arguably the best number nine in the world when the Blues took on the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday.
Ruru, who some will remember was a close second to Beauden Barrett in the Blues’ Bronco speed tests a year ago, claimed top spot in this year’s reason fitness test, coming within four seconds of the record.
In 2020 Barrett produced one of the quickest Bronco times seen by a professional rugby player in New Zealand, completing the 1.2km test in 4 minutes 12 seconds.
This year, with Barrett on sabbatical, Ruru topped the group with a hugely impressive 4 min 16 seconds time.
While against the Highlanders he wasn’t required to do the 20m, 40m and 60m shuttles, he showed that kind of athletic ability when he snatched this try from a trademark Aaron Smith bullet pass behind the tryline.
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Smith is widely regarded as one of the best passes of a rugby ball in the world, so that flat spin pass would have had a fair bit of torque on it.
While Ruru probably planned it after studying Smith’s game, to get in position and hold onto it was impressive, creating a try from a position we don’t often see.
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Despite the good start to the game for the Blues, and a late consolation try, the Highlanders claimed the honours with a 35-29 win.