Swansong for Ngāti Tūwharetoa First-Five Cruden

By Eru Paranihi

Tonight’s British & Irish Lions clash will be the final one in the black jersey for All Black Aaron Cruden. The Chiefs First Five is off to France after the Super Rugby season.

With 49 Test matches under his belt, it will be the end for the Manawatu raised as he approaches test number 50.

“For me, this series has been about trying to embrace it, and enjoy all the special moments that you get throughout the series.”

In game two, Goal Kicking was an issue with incumbent Beauden Barrett missing three conversions. The Lions supporters believe it is the All Blacks weakness.

“One thing we've spoken about is we would love to go up in sevens this week. We were going up in threes last week, and unfortunately, it didn't get us over the line.”

Cruden believes this is the biggest game at Eden Park since the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

“I look back in a real highlight of my career [the Rugby World Cup 2011].”

After unsuccessfully accumulating points through penalties, Cruden has identified that the game will be won through trys.

“Hopefully we're able to throw the ball out to the left wing, to this guy [Julian Savea] here.”

80 minutes is what separates these two teams from glory, and commiseration in the series decider.