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Habana’s heroics delight White

Mark Keohane10/9/07

Bryan Habana is the type of player that wins teams World Cups Jake White told the world media in Paris.

White said that while rugby remained a team sport the individual genius of players like Habana often produced the defining moment of a World Cup play-off match or final.

“He is a very special player. You only had to see what he did in scoring his first try,” White said. “He got four and should have had five because the pass from Schalk did not go forward.”

Habana told Keo.co.za he was aware he had equalled Chester Williams’s Springbok World Cup try-scoring record and that he was searching for a fifth.

“Every player wants to break records. It would have been great to get five and the first try was pretty special. I cut inside to look for the support runners, but I kept on getting through tackles. I just kept on going and then felt I had enough pace to get over and score. The bigger picture, though, isn’t how many I scored but how well we finished as a team. It was a brilliant finish but we know we have a bigger challenge on Friday. We’ll enjoy tonight and I’ll enjoy the memory of what just happened.”

Habana, who missed the entire Tri Nations with injury, was superb against Scotland in the World Cup warm-up match and was devastating with ball in hand against Samoa.

Only New Zealand’s Sitiveni Sivivatu can match him as a finisher in world rugby, but it is doubtful anyone can match him for outright pace.

White described his pace as freakish.

“It may be rugby and not athletics, but there is no substitute for pace among them,” said White. “You can’t coach pace and Bryan gives us a dimension few teams have. He was always going to be very important to our World Cup challenge and today you could see why.”


MARK KEOHANE | keo.co.za | Monday, 10 September 2007 | Comment on this article

Articles
Mark Keohane

Don’t be a fool Jake … go on Sunday 17/10/07
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Habana delights White 10/9/07
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