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HomesportCaptain Cane devastated as All Blacks suffer final agony

Captain Cane devastated as All Blacks suffer final agony

PARIS: Sam Cane’s devastation was plain to see on the giant screen of the Stade de France as the New Zealand captain watched the South African bench run on to the pitch to celebrate their record fourth World Cup title on Saturday (Oct 28).

Cane missed the opening game against hosts France, which the All Blacks lost, and witnessed his team’s second defeat of the tournament from the bench after becoming the first player to be sent off in a World Cup final.

The flanker watched New Zealand’s brave and sometimes inspired second-half performance and was left wondering what might have happened if he had not been shown a red card for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel.

Cane, however, praised players from both teams after the All Blacks lost 12-11.

“Obviously, extremely gutted and disappointed. First of all that the team had to play the final with 14 men for the last 50-odd minutes,” he said.

Cane was sin-binned in the 28th minute and waited anxiously for the by TMO match official Tom Foley who upgraded his yellow card to red.

Handre Pollard had made it 12-3 to the Springboks but the defending champions did not score another point.

“I thought the courage they showed out there tonight was incredible. The whole team are absolute warriors and, look, it’s tough,” added Cane, only the 11th All Black to be sent off in a rugby test.

The flanker, however, did not look for excuses.

“Not unlucky. We know that collisions need to be low. If anything I got caught a bit surprised that he stepped back in my direction,” he said.

“It’s no excuse. We’ve been here for two months and we’ve seen how things have been ruled,” he added.

“I’d like to say well done to South Africa – back to back. They’ve been a fantastic team, they’ve had a tough road to the final and they showed time and time again they find a way to win,” he said.

As rain fell heavily on the Stade de France, Cane stood in a long, black jacket when his South African counterpart Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup, before leaving the pitch as clouds of smoke from the fireworks filled the stadium.

Coach Ian Foster did not blame Cane.

“You look at the decision and say ‘OK, it is what it is’. Then it’s the heart and soul the team showed afterwards, which is largely due to the sprit of the group and Sam was a big part of it,” he said.

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