THE RESISTANCE
NZ Rugby World|Issue 205, June - July 2020
THE ALL BLACKS HAVE ENCOUNTERED PLAYERS IN THE LAST DECADE WHO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WIELD THEIR INFLUENCE IN THE MOST TELLING WAYS. WE LOOK AT THE FIVE MEN WHO HAVE TROUBLED THEM THE MOST SINCE 2010.


MICHAEL HOOPER

The Wallabies haven't enjoyed much success against the All Blacks in the last decade. Since 2010 they have posted just five wins and two draws.

No one has featured in all of these Wallabies successes, but Michael Hooper gets closest having been involved in the two draws and the victories in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

And while it wasn't a great period for the Wallabies, Hooper does at least have the further satisfaction of knowing he was regularly the only Australian player the All Blacks found hard to subdue.

Hooper is a great ball runner and he's damaged the All Blacks with his ability to break tackles and take off. He's also hurt them with his work at the breakdown and he is a man they have come to respect.

FAF DE KLERK

Faf de Klerk has become the player the All Blacks can't wash out of their hair so to speak. His first big moment came in 2018 when he spent 80 minutes in Wellington getting under Aaron Smith's skin.

De Klerk hassled him, hounded him and disrupted him and prevented the All Blacks building their usual attacking flow. With the ball, de Klerk turned the All Blacks with his brilliant box kicks and split them with his distribution.

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