Spencer still full of surprises: Howlett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Spencer still full of surprises: Howlett

By John Salvado 11/11/2003 07:41:45 PM Comments (0)

Flying All Blacks winger Doug Howlett has been playing rugby with Carlos Spencer for seven years and he still hasn't seen all of the mercurial five-eighth's tricks.

King Carlos was the architect of last weekend's 29-9 drubbing of South Africa, capping the display with a between-the-legs pass to winger Joe Rokocoko for the final try of the World Cup quarter-final.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has suggested Spencer can be pressured into skill errors, with the onus in Saturday's semi-final falling on the Australian back row.

"He has been targeted throughout the season but he always manages to distribute the ball well and get our game-plan underway," said Howlett, who has played alongside Spencer for Auckland and New Zealand.

"There's so much he's got to look out for, he's got defenders, he's got wide moves.

"So if I can help him and say the fullback's out of position or the winger's flat ... he's got the skills to put the ball there.

"It's going on six or seven years now and I still don't know all of his bag of tricks.

"You've got to be awake and ready for the ball - it can turn up anywhere, which is a fantastic way to play."

When Howlett first burst onto the international scene in 2000, much was made of his sporting pedigree as a schoolboy sprinting champion.

Now there's speed to burn in the All Blacks backline, with Howlett playing alongside fullback Mils Muliaina and Rokocoko.

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