Hosea Gear will be back playing for the Highlanders this weekend as Super Rugby returns. Against Ireland he celebrated a rare Test start with a powerful try, smashing the hapless Keith Earls out of the way, summing up a miserable night for Ireland.
New Zealand famously beat Ireland 60-0, crushing not only the record books, but the spirits of the tourists, who had done so well and came close to sneaking a draw in the second Test.
The All Blacks backlash in Test three was too much for them, as the World Champions were at their clinical best, scoring tries from all over the park. This one from Gear was one of the most memorable, coming from an Ireland lineout error, and resulting in an impressive sprint for the line.
Young gun Julian Savea has taken his opportunities of late, meaning that the rare start for Gear, who has now played just nine Tests, was his chance to impress.
“I would have done anything to get over the line and that’s what happened. I guess that keenness, that eagerness to get over the line again, I was quite happy with that,” he said.
He said recently that, believe it or not, he’s actually trying to get bigger around the shoulder area, to be stronger in contact and avoid injuries. It’s clear that the only people at risk of injury are the opposition, especially if they go in too high, as Earls did on this occasion.
He paid the price with a forearm to the chin, resulting in an exit from the field and a try to New Zealand. It wasn’t pretty in slow-mo, but made for good TV, some may say.