You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Redemption for NZ assist king Coles

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/09/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

A tight forward angry about his previous game will normally seek atonement in the physical exchanges.

Not so All Blacks hooker Dane Coles, who put on an assist masterclass in the 41-14 win over the Springboks in Christchurch.

Coles provided the last pass in three of the All Blacks' six tries on Saturday.

All different types of passes, they exemplified the skill set which is setting New Zealand apart.

Quick hands set up Israel Dagg, a round-the-corner effort did the same for Julian Savea before a long, flat pass sent lock Sam Whitelock over.

Coles was keen to play down his efforts, just as he has been following other Tests when his party trick is a turn of speed the envy of many backs.

"I was just doing my job, mate," he said.

Performing his more traditional hooker duties to a high standard meant more to the 29-year-old, whose output was down against Argentina in Hamilton last week.

"Last week I was terrible, to be honest," Coles said.

"I didn't do the jersey justice and I wanted a big game. You take pride in your performance and I wasn't up to standard last week."

Coles was replaced early against the Pumas, along with the underperforming Aaron Smith.

Halfback Smith also rebounded with a majestic display.

He was arguably the best player on the park with his speed of thought and execution.

Coach Steve Hansen says Coles and Smith both clearly responded to some harsh assessment during the week.

"When you see them put the work in and bounce back, it shows a bit of fortitude," he said.

"You know that they're class players so they're not going to have too many rough games."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon