In just a few words, All Blacks Sevens co-captain Dylan Collier summed up the esteemed rugby rivalry between New Zealand and South Africa perfectly.
Speaking with RugbyPass after his sides convincing 29-5 win over Kenya on day one of the Hong Kong Sevens, Collier said the rivalry was like going “to war.”
And the All Blacks Sevens were ready.
Playing in a highly anticipated Pool D clash at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday, the fierce rivals forged a new chapter into the rugby sevens history books.
All Blacks Sevens ace Leroy Carter opened the scoring in the third minute following an impressive 60 metre run.
Carter sent the buzzing Hong Kong crowd into a frenzy as he bumped off a tackle attempt from Blitzbokke star Siviwe Soyizwapi on his way to the tryline.
Brute force and speed can’t be taught, and the 24-year-old has both in his rugby arsenal.
While South Africa struck back shortly after through Mfundo Ndhlovu, another New Zealand try to Cody Vai ultimately decided the match.
With the All Blacks Sevens up by five, Carter was tackled into touch – which brought an end to another epic clash between these two rugby mad nations.
“We expect it, we know South Africa are going to come out and give it their all (with) their line speed and what not,” Carter told RugbyPass.
“For us, putting on this jersey is a challenge for us and we love it.
“It’s mean to see the young boys stepping up and following some of the old heads in how they play the game.
“It’s a bright future for our team.
“When you miss players like Sam Dickson and what not, the young boys bring excitement.
“To get that first try, I was pretty surprised I had the legs to get there to be fair but they ended up working.”
With about three seconds to run on the clock, New Zealand held a 12-7 lead. The game was still in the balance, but South Africa needed the ball.
As the clock ticked ever closer to full-time, Carter got the ball, and quickly found himself in space.
Carter was on his way to another memorable try, but this time in front of the legendary south stand.
But sweeper Ricardo Duarttee made the covering tackle and prevented the score, and also brought an end to the contest as Carter as taken into touch.
“I was trying to get to the line and their sweeper was coming across, and I looked up to the clock and I could see there was two seconds left,” he added.
“I got as close to the sideline as I could so if he tackles me I could get tackled out. I didn’t want the boys working too hard to try to cover me.”
The All Blacks Sevens can lock up pole position in Pool D with a win over Ireland on Saturday.