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All Blacks Form

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Scott Newman
Scott Newman

After watching the last three All Blacks test matches.... "Are you comfortable with the All Blacks form going into the tri-nations?" Who is to blame for the way the All Blacks are playing now? Are we heading in the right direction for Rugby World Cup 2011?
First I ask this. If Australia were without Matt Giteau, George Smith and say Nathan Sharpe, Lote Tuqiri (see the news?) with casual injuries to their halfbacks & locks. I wonder how their performance would be?
No, I am not saying that injuries are the whole problem of where we are at now but I have to say the form of certain players with the mix of players new to international experience (some with experience trying to prove themselves!) is causing the All Blacks strife without the likes of Dan Carter & Ritchie Mc Caw in particular.
Well, I think this is good for our game. In my travels overseas viewing other sports leagues in general. I have come to respect that in the modern era of sport the days of being a dynasty or repeating overall championships are very unlikely. We need to learn what the value of a win is again.  The time of expecting a win and or 100% perfect performance at the highest level is too much of a high expectation. We need to learn to lose well in order to win well. I think we have lost sight of that side of the game through our mental preparations of looking as favourites. Then, getting to the grand stage to come undone under pressure. This theory resonates in a lot of our national teams.
When the pressure is off. I feel, we are at the peak of our powers. (Remember the NZ league team over the wallabies, how do you coach that?) So to all the people who want Henry, Hansen & Smith's heads? Think of the bigger picture like who else is ready to coach the AB's? Injuries, form of key players & way too high expectations!
We can learn so much and prepare in a way that we have never prepared before. Every World Cup failure had cost the coach until the last time. The reasons for that are we did play a very good game & got beaten and had plenty to show us in one of the most surprising defeats.
When we learn to lose gracefully and cherish our winning moments then our players can truly celebrate once the mission is complete. For New Zealand. I think it is to win the Rugby World Cup at home.  Not much is going to change between then in terms of players (apart from ex-pats returning) or coaches (arguably) in building the way to the goal.  We cannot rely on just the black jersey we must rely on what it means to put it on. I have faith in Graham Henry even though I feel we are at risk of being last in the Tri Nations.
Let's see where the nations head is at if the AB's coaches do fail? You cannot fire a team, right???


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