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Big Joe Gets Taste Of History

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

By Mark Geenty of NZPA London, Dec 6 NZPA - Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana could barely suppress their grins. Their fourth rugby victory over the All Blacks this year, and both hungry for more in 2010. Matfield skippered the Barbarians to just their second win in 10 attempts against the All Blacks while Habana confirmed his status as the world's standout winger with a hat-trick in their 25-18 victory at Twickenham. It was ominous for the All Blacks when the prowling Matfield pinched Corey Flynn's first lineout throw. Then Habana kicked into gear, latching on to Drew Mitchell's break to score his first then plucking Stephen Donald's pass to race 70m for his second on the stroke of halftime. His third, after good leadup by Matt Giteau, sealed the result with 11 minutes left. All this after he'd seemingly been knocked out when producing a try-saving tackle on All Blacks halfback Brendon Leonard. Matfield said there was a not-so-secret formula to beating the All Blacks, and he was hooked. ``We normally thought it was just kicking, and today we didn't kick,'' he said. ``It's just really putting them under pressure and being in their faces. The All Blacks are big strong boys and they love momentum and if you can take that away from them with your defence, then you're in with a chance.'' With loose forward Schalk Burger a menace at the breakdown and on defence, and the backline shutting down the All Blacks' attack, it was a simple recipe. ``We said it was one of the best weeks we had as professional rugby players, really having a lot of fun and getting to know each other,'' Matfield said. ``The guys really went out there and played like professionals and put their bodies on the line.'' Habana was named man of the match and said it was satisfying to crack the All Blacks' outstanding defence which hadn't been pierced for their past eight northern hemisphere tests. ``I'm not going to lie to you, they were probably some of the easier tries I've scored in the last while,'' he said. ``It's an All Blacks side that hasn't conceded a try, so to actually go out and score three was a real bonus.'' NZPA SYD mg cw

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