For Jack Goodhue, scoring a try in the prestigious Bledisloe Cup clash was the highlight of his rugby career and the Kawakawa lad can‘t wait to play in front of his whanāu this weekend.
The 23-year-old Northland and Crusaders‘ midfield back was one of the standout performers in All Black‘s 38-13 win over the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium in Sydney last weekend.
His parents and possibly brothers Cam, Josh and Axel will be at Eden Park for the return leg on Saturday and a win for the home side will retain their strong-hold on the much-coveted trophy.
In Sydney, Goodhue cantered 40m to score in the second half after fielding a pass from wing Rieko Ioane who flew into space before turning the ball back inside to the Northland player.
Goodhue said it was a tough match but one he enjoyed.
“That game probably would be the highlight of my rugby career so far. There‘s so much history behind the Bledisloe Cup and it was a pretty happy occasion for me,” he said.
The pre-match jitters were gone once he took the field and saw what was in front of him.
“To score a try was special and exhilarating for me. I thought I had a long way to go after receiving that pass but there weren‘t many people around me so I put my head down and got there. It was quite an important try.”
On the accidental head clash with Ryan Crotty, he said it was one of those things that unfortunately happened in physical sports.
Goodhue said he hadn‘t had a chance to speak to his parents in Kawakawa since last
weekend but hoped to do that last night.
“They were busy on the farm and couldn‘t make it to Sydney but they are coming down to Eden Park where we hopefully win and have some family time together.”
His parents and brothers watched the match on television at their Kawakawa home.
The All Blacks team to play Australia will likely be named on Thursday.
Pressure on the team to perform at their Eden Park fortress was the same as in every test match and Goodhue said the All Blacks would have to put both hands on the cup before heading into the third test in Japan in October.
A lot of discipline, right food, good recovery and training were important for him to maintain his standard in the national team, he said.
Older brother and Kamo premier coach Cam Goodhue said for a man under pressure to perform on a bigger stage, Jack did well on Saturday.
He ran straight, carried well and had a good game overall, he said.
Northland-born former All Black Ian Jones said Jack Goodhue was not just an overnight sensation but had worked hard through the rugby ranks to crack into the All Blacks.
The Whangarei-born who made 79 appearances for the All Blacks between 1990 and 1999 said Goodhue was a great product of Northland and made the region proud, both on and off the field.
“Very proud of his performance in the All Black jersey. He‘s a great kid that‘s worked hard from school boy rugby, Northland, through to the Crusaders and now the All Blacks,” the Sky television rugby commentator said.
Jones said Goodhue was composed and confident in the first Bledisloe test against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday and he thoroughly enjoyed the game while scoring a try.
“He‘s got a calm head, assesses play well, makes good decisions, steps into well and doesn‘t get caught out in defence, has good tackling techniques and his passing is good.
“For all that to happen, attention to detail is very important and it‘s something the All Blacks do really well leading up to the week of the game.”
Jones said it was early days and while Goodhue‘s performance at the weekend was to be applauded, he had to maintain his form to continually play for the All Blacks.
“Northland players like Joe Morgan and others maintained high standards in the All Blacks for a very long time so for Goodhue, let‘s hope he maintains his form, fitness and enthusiasm playing for the black jersey,” Jones said.
Northlanders who played for the All Blacks:
Rene Ranger (2010),
Norman Maxwell (1999-2004)
Norm Berryman (1998),
Glenn Taylor (1992, 1996),
Ian Jones (1990-1999)
Ian Dunn (1983-1984),
Alastair Robinson (1983),
Kawhena Woodman (1984),
Michael Speight (1986),
Fred Woodman (1980-1981),
Wayne Neville (1981).
Mike Burgoyne (1979),
Eddie Dunn (1978, 1979, 1981),
Ken Going (1974),
Sid Going (1966-1971, 1972, 1973, 1974-1977),
Richie Guy (1971,1972),
Bevan Holmes (1970, 1972, 1973),
Murray Jones (1973),
Joe Morgan (1974, 1976),
Hamish Macdonald (1972, 1976),
Peter Sloane (1973, 1976-77, 1979, 1981),
Victor Yates (1961, 1962),
Ian Irvine (1952),
Peter Jones (1953-1956, 1958-1960),
Des Webb (1959),
Nau Cherrington (1950-51),
Johnny Smith (1946, 1947, 1949),
Peter Smith (1947)