Sonny Bill Williams has heaped praise on Rugby World Cup rookie All Blacks teammate Nehe Milner-Skudder despite THAT dropped ball which cost a certain try during New Zealand's tournament opener against Argentina at Wembley today.
Milner-Skudder dropped a vintage Williams right hand off load only one metre from the tryline when the All Blacks were trailing the Pumas 12-16 early in the second half.
But in a post-match interview Williams was effusive in his praise of Milner-Skudder – though still managed a sly dig at the same time.
"I've been giving Nehe crap all week about his bad haircut, so I better lay off him a bit," Williams said.
"Besides that dropped ball I thought he played outstanding tonight. He handled himself so well in the All Blacks jersey.
"He played enormous tonight. I'm looking forward to seeing more of his magic.”
The All Blacks won the game 26-16 after trailing for more of the game than they would have liked. The quality of Argentina's performance can be measured by the All Blacks forming a guard of honour for the Pumas as they walked off the field after the game.
"At half time we talked about keeping it simple, keeping it direct and sticking to what we've trained all week," Williams said.
"To win this tournament we'll need to be a lot better. Hopefully we can play well enough in our next pool games to qualify for the quarter final."