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'Expect it!' Spencer, Rokocoko recall iconic RWC try 20 years on

Carlos Spencer's through-the-legs pass to Joe Rokocoko in the quarter-finals of the 2003 Rugby World Cup stunned the Springboks and delighted fans, helping the All Blacks seal a 29-9 win.

Almost 20 years on from the moment, World Rugby got the two All Blacks greats together to reflect on the try and how the piece of magic was conjured.

"Just a classic Springboks-All Blacks Test match," Rokocoko said.

"It's just so physical and quick and to add more spice to it, it's a quarter-final at a World Cup."

If that wasn't enough flavour already, there was also the zest of the All Blacks' No.10 to add to the mix although through their years together at the Blues, Rokocoko said he had become accustomed to Spencer's ways.

"If there's one thing I've always remembered about him it's that he's always wanted me to give him options," he said.

"He's a mysterious guy - you never know what he's going to come up with."

On November 9 2003, Spencer came up with one of his best, firing a quick ball from Justin Marshall through his legs to beat a rushing Springboks defence near the tryline, allowing his winger to go in effectively untouched in the left corner.

"We got the ball away and Los, for some reason, instinct just kicked in for him," Rokocoko said.

"He was reading off what was happening in front and I was reading off what Carlos normally does - I didn't know what to expect but you expect something when he touches the ball.

"It came through his legs and it was no surprise to be honest."

Rokocoko asked his former teammate where his creativity came from, citing his history of playing touch rugby and backyard footy as possible influences on Spencer's game.

Spencer said it was combination of "all that stuff".

"That sort of thing is instinct, you can't prepare for that sort of stuff," he said.

"The thing for me at the time was to just get rid of the ball as quick as possible and it was just through the legs!"

Spencer added the bigger influence was knowing the players around him and Rokocoko was one he had plenty of experience was.

"My first training with the Blues, your first advice was to stay on your inside or stay on your outside - but you didn't say how the ball was going to get there," Rokocoko laughed.

Spencer simplified it even further.

"Just be there, bro! Just expect it, bro!"

Rokocoko, Spencer and the 2003 All Blacks went on to finish third at the World Cup after losing to hosts Australia 22-10 in the semi-finals.

It was the last World Cup the two enjoyed together although with Rokocoko currently based in France after his career took him there in later years, he extended an invitation to his old teammate for this year's event for a "cheeky look and a catch-up".