Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hernández Kick v All Blacks - Could it be more perfect?

Juan Martín Hernández played his first test at flyhalf against the All Blacks this past Saturday. He was one of only three survivors from the 2006 test in Buenos Aires when he was fullback. The the others were Rodrigo Roncero and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe while Juan Manuel Leguizamón was on the bench. Since then Hernández´s career has exploded in France. He was the player of the year in the Top 14 in the season leading up to Rugby World Cup 2007 and was very much responsible for Stade Français being the 2007 champions. His profile during Rugby World Cup was already huge in France and in Europe in general but after the tournament it was big elsewhere. He was the best flyhalf of the tournament and was a finalist for IRB Player of the Year. 

Sicne then, however, things have not be so smooth. He has had serious injury concerns which have kept him out of the sport for long periods. Before The Rugby Championship Hernández had last played in June 2009 against England. Since that match he has had both back surgery and knee surgery. He was greatly missed at Rugby World Cup 2011 but his rehabilitation appears to be a thing of the past. He has been playing well so fat in The Rugby Championship. His passing has been accurate, he has been taking on the line and his kicking  continues to be extraordinary. 

Against New Zealand this past Saturday he delivered a moment of genius whcih is likely to be used in play of the week segments worldwide. He had dropped back to fullback to cover a potential All Blacks kick. He gathered the kick and then spotted the position of the All Blacks defensively. The New Zealanders were covering a high kick and a long kick which opened a small bit of space for Hernández to try to find touch. He did a banana kick, which is an angled circular kick designed to curve and he did so with perfection. The kick gained his team some 40 metres.  

1 comment:

  1. I love this player....he is also an absolute beast on defense....sooo cool to have the pup nicolas sanchez who is also an incredibly talented kicker shadowing this kind of talent....today Hernandez did not train as a precaution to give him more time to recover....and he will also be the designated kicker with gurruchaga going to the bench....but the real news is Landajo's entry for Vergallo which.... as i had been saying last week.... is my pet peeve so far with our team....not getting enough penetration with vergallo hurts the team everywhere....and its silly not to take advantage with the best attacking platform in world rugby at the moment....our pack....even with gifted s.h.'s.... they can only be as good as their scrum is....but i believe a more dynamic player like landajo....less likely to rest his cleats on the ball.... will go a long way to establishing not just more but better....more effective posession and attacking ball....and also putting pressure on the australian halfbacks who are like all black halfbacks....so that the whole team will benefit inmensely with this switch i think....Amorosino....the other change....can expect to find more room....i mean we are talking fractions of seconds at this level but i expect they will make a difference....it doesn't happen very often when one is passionate about one's team and the coaching style is in total agreement with one's wishes....and now this....its awesome....