Graham Henry already helping Lam and the Blues

Former All Blacks coach Graham Henry has already been helping Blues coach Pat Lam but rather than helping him with the blueprint to turn things around Henry is helping him deal with the external pressures.


The pressure is mounting on Lam with each Blues loss so Henry has been helping him to deal with the pressure that comes externally.


The Blues face another tough examination this weekend as they are away to the Highlanders in Dunedin.


Henry visited Lam last week and spoke to him about the more difficult times in Henry’s career like when he was with Wales and the British and Irish Lions and more recently the time after the 2007 Rugby World cup.


“I think where he is really coming through at the moment is there’s a rugby side, a tactical side, and then there’s the actual coaching side of dealing with what we are going through,” Lam said of Henry.


“I think all coaches know their stuff, but it’s (the) going through when your confidence is down and you are dealing with external pressures. That’s the thing that he offers.


“He told me to focus on what you can do. He talked about `the noise’.” Lam told Fairfax.


“What I’m going through is obviously nothing compared to what he went through in 2007.


“So there was a lot of encouragement. But before he even spoke I had taken inspiration from what he did and what he has been through.


“That’s what our game is – one point the other way and it could have been totally different,” Lam added. .


“Any coach worth their pinch of salt has to go through these times. But it’s what you do in these times – he certainly came out of it.”


Henry is employed by the NZRU and has to be available to mentor all of Super Rugby and provincial coaches so he can’t spend all of his time with the Blues.


Lam said that Henry was “a busy man” and that he would need to be at the Blues day-in and day-out if he were to make a big difference with tactics and game plans.


While the Blues chances of reaching the playoffs are now gone, Lam maintains that there is still plenty to play for.


“Our reputations – there are a lot of people hurting because we know we are better than that. “


“So we are playing for our reputations, we are playing for our franchise. If we give up, that would be the biggest disappointment.”


Lam said that the Blues would be without skipper Keven Mealamu on Friday due to his ongoing calf strain which would probably rule him out of next week’s home match against the Reds.


Looking ahead to the Highlanders Lam admitted the two teams were on the opposite end of the spectrum in performance and confidence.


“Their confidence is sky high, they are going extremely well. This is the first time we are going to that new stadium.”


“You have a team at the top and obviously us at the bottom.


“Confidence is going to be a big factor.”


“We haven’t lost to the Highlanders for a while, so for us it’s about getting down there and really getting stuck into them, because we know that’s what they will try to do to us. “


“It’s a bit of fighting fire with fire. “


“I think that’s what this whole week is about, taking the positives out of the Sharks game, particularly the fight and attitude and just adding a bit of detail to it.”

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