Harsh reviews for Lomu in latest game
16 January 2006Â
British media gave Jonah Lomu his harshest review yet yesterday as the All Blacks legend again stated his confidence of playing at next year's rugby World Cup.
Lomu's Cardiff side lost 3-21 at home to French side Perpignan in the Heineken Cup, and media reports were far from flattering.
"In this sixth match of his wholly remarkable comeback, Lomu perhaps knew the fear of failure for the first time," Hugh Godwin wrote in the Independent On Sunday.
Godwin cast doubt over Lomu's ability to fulfil an NPC season with North Harbour this year as he struggled through the match.
"Lomu has the familiar strut and rooster's nodding head but only a couple of initial thrusts as first and second receiver gave any hint of the monstrous attacking talent of old," Godwin wrote.
"From later phases the lunging step with the knee held high bore the menace of a hoodie being mugged by a grandmother.
"The last quarter was almost embarrassing. Lomu received a horror of a grasscutter pass, did an undignified and ungainly version of the splits and presented possession to Perpignan in the process.
AdvertisementAdvertisement"His next contribution was to field a high kick from Nicolas Laharrague, the visitors' fly-half and principal destroyer with the boot.
"Lomu rocked on his heels and the ball rolled forward from his clumsy grasp. It led directly to Perpignan's second try and the conclusion of a comprehensive defeat."
Speaking after the match, Lomu was undeterred and said he was confident of becoming an All Black again.
"I reckon I can (do it)," Lomu said.
"There is no doubt in my mind. I feel I'm getting better each week. I'm taking it step by step, and I feel I'm getting in the right direction.
"For me, there is just a lack of games. I have not played many games so far."
Lomu is due to remain in Wales with his wife Fiona until May before returning home to train with North Harbour.
But Godwin said Cardiff may already be having second thoughts about their big signing which saw crowds flock back to Cardiff Arms Park.
"The novelty value which prompted Cardiff to stump up a modest retainer and Â£3000 ($NZ7722) per appearance when Munster among others decided not to dabble may be wearing off."[/b]