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Nonu Form Streaks Ahead

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nonu Form Streaks Ahead

By Daniel Gilhooly of NZPA

Wellington, June 22 NZPA - Ma'a Nonu's test tryscoring streak has seen him move into the same realm as a batch of glamour outside backs in the All Blacks rugby record books.

The burly Wellington second five-eighth scored the only try for New Zealand in their 14-10 defeat of France here on Saturday.

He has scored a try in five successive All Blacks tests, the first player to do so for more than five years.

Ironically, the last was winger Joe Rokocoko, across the 2003 and 2004 seasons. It was Rokocoko who sent Nonu across the tryline with a sweet pop pass in the first half on Saturday.

The record for the longest All Blacks streak is eight, shared by dynamic fullback Christian Cullen in 2000 and winger John Kirwan in 1987-88.

Doug Howlett had a six-test streak early in his career while Rokocoko has scored tries in five consecutive tests twice. Another prolific winger, Jonah Lomu, managed five in 1999.

Nonu's power running saw him score two of New Zealand's three tries in the squared series against France while he has contributed five of their last 10 test tries.

He downplayed his form in typical style, declaring himself satisfied with the team performance on Saturday after the sub-par first test loss to France.

"Personally, it hurt. I would say through the whole team it hurt as well," Nonu said.

"Last week was one of those games where we got outmuscled and out-passioned as well. Tonight we had to stand up and it was tough."

He wasn't frustrated at the lack of space and opportunities available to the backs over the last fortnight.

"This is not Super 14, this is test match rugby. The defence is pretty sharp and the loosies are too," he said, also refusing to blame the difficult night conditions for some poor execution.

"At the end of the day, we're top professional rugby players."

Nonu's 12 test tries are one short of Aaron Mauger, who has scored the most tries by any All Black starting the majority of his career at second five.

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