When Wallaby fullback Matt Burke launched the ball high in the air at Lancaster Park, heralding the commencement of the 1998 Bledisloe Cup, the young face of Scott Robertson looked on from the sidelines, huddled amongst the All Black reserves.
Today, the enigmatic, break-dancing Scott “Razor” Robertson has risen as one of the most prominent coaches in the world; taking charge of the Crusaders in 2017, with his depth of insight and modern, professional touch, he guided the men from Canterbury to their first Super Rugby title since 2008, thereby ending a eight-year drought. They were not done there, however, and reclaimed the title in 2018 and 2019.
Robertson was a late inclusion into the team to face the Wallabies and the 23 year old was sent onto the park with about seventeen minutes remaining and the scoreboard reading 20-9 in favour of Australia.
The youngster grabbed the opportunity with both hands, injecting his team with a new and energetic tempo.
With his strength and speed, Robertson busied himself with challenges to the Wallaby defensive line, carrying the ball up regularly and vigorously on attack and assailing his opponents on defence.
In the end, John Eales’ charges emerged victorious against their All Black foes, but the particular effort and commitment of young Razor Robertson in his first appearance in the international arena gave the New Zealand rugby public plenty to look forward to.
He went on to win 21 more caps.