Shaun Stevenson, This man’s journey in the world of rugby union has been nothing but a roller coaster ride. While representing the Chiefs at the Super Rugby, this 26-year-old was able to pull off a record 12 tries for the team that won against literally every other team in 2023 but was initially overlooked.
After years of consistent effort and dedication, He finally earned himself a spot on the New Zealand team. Prior to the World Cup, Shaun debuted in a close 23-20 win against Australia at Dunedin. With the support of his fellow Chiefs player Damian McKenzie, played a major role in nullifying a 3-17 deficit.
The chieftain shared his thoughts and mentioned that for him, this one held a special value as his family members from New Zealand and Australia watched his first game as an All-Black. The Chiefs’ outside back also stated that in the first half, he wasn’t playing his usual self as he didn’t train a lot as a winger previously.
Yet, He was able to pull off his role once he got comfortable with the rhythm of the game and also got a hold over the pace and the intensity. What followed after was Shaun playing with his uncanny style to get an opening in the midst of tight defense. In addition to that, his swift footwork and spontaneous running make up for a deadly combo.
His kicking has indeed improved over the years, but the latter still struggles in defense. Reflecting on those narratives, the Maori remarked that my records in the Super Rugby season were one of my best seasons so far, and even though there are still flaws within my game, it’s nothing major as long as I remain consistent with my performance on the pitch.
Defeat against Les Bleus and the future ahead with North Harbour
When asked about the recent defeat against France, Shaun gave a pretty candid response, saying, While I’m not so sure about the game plan myself at that moment, there must be a reason for so much kicking. Maybe they wanted to achieve the right balance of speed and space, as it’s pretty important while playing with such elites.
More importantly, It was a tight match, and we had our fair share of moments where we had them under the ropes. In the last 20 minutes, They got their momentum and were able to change the tide of the game.
He also touched on his future with his current Super Rugby team, North Harbour, mentioning that they have got a lot of things going for them. Recently, we won four back-to-back matches at the very start of the competition.
The one against Northland where we were able to beat them by 19 points on Saturday, but the greatest obstacle is still in front of us, and that is to beat one of the most dominant teams in the league, Wellington, this weekend for the Ranfurly Shield.
This does bring back some bad memories caused last year, and they lost the shield in a close call against Hawke’s Bay, where he was handed a yellow card right after the Hawke’s gained a significant lead of two points. He stated that it felt like the title was robbed away from us even though I got the turnover, but the ref saw it from a different perspective.
But this time, We have got some great guys on our side, and the way things are going for us around here, the shield doesn’t seem to be too far from us.