Aaron Cruden’s adidas Predator boots helped him unleash a captivating, talismanic display on Saturday night, as he seamlessly stepped in to Dan Carter’s no.10 jersey and catapulted the All Blacks to a record 60-point victory over the touring Irish.
While Cruden was only on the field for 23-odd minutes he had a significant hand in all four of the All Blacks first half tries, helping them to a 29-nil halftime lead.
His Predator Incurzas are the latest in adidas’ iconic range of boots, and make a dynamic statement in black, royal blue and bold lime. Kickers benefit from the asymmetrical lacing on the boots, providing a bigger surface area for contact with the ball, while two special zones, the ‘Precision Zone’ and the ‘Sweet Spot’ further enhance control and accuracy. The Precision zone was designed specifically for kicking out of hand, while the Sweet Spot was developed to assist in goal-kicking.
A product of the New Zealand Under-20 side, Cruden, who plays his provincial rugby in the Manawatu, began his Super Rugby with the Hurricanes, but has thrived under the tutelage of former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith since relocating to Hamilton and joining the Chiefs franchise.
Cruden’s assured performance on Saturday, however brief, showed maturity and composure, and New Zealand rugby fans and officials alike will sleep a lot easier knowing there is now genuine cover at first five.