Henry happy to be rid of invincible tag

The All Blacks have finally been beaten, and despite the disappointing nature of defeat, their coach Graham Henry insists the lose is “a good thing”.

Most people, before the game, were convinced that New Zealand would sweep all before them in the coming months resulting in a World Cup win. The result does not cast New Zealand’s credentials into doubt, but it does give hope to others and prove they are not invincible.

Henry, who has grown tired on the invincible tag, believes the defeat will give the squad a chance to now reaccess where they are as well as providing huge motivation for the coming months.

“I think this is probably a very good thing in many respects,” he told Fox Sports.

“It just put us back on our hind foot and made us think and rethink what we are doing.

“Hopefully this is motivational.”

The expectation for New Zealand to deliver the World Cup has grown over the past years and has now become something of a burden, similar to 2003. At that stage four years ago New Zealand had whitewashed Australia in the Bledisloe Cup but went on to lose 22-10 in the World Cup semi-final.

Despite the winning score coming from a Luke McAlister mistake Henry was quick to defend the makeshift outside centre.

“We made some mistakes defensively generally, I won’t blame any particular individual and that’s the way it was,” he said.

“And Mortlock played particularly well, had a big game, and exposed us a couple of times.”

Henry was however far from happy with the manner in which referee Jonker handled the scrum, with both sides struggling to come to terms with his interpretations of the laws.

“It’s frustrating the scrum at the moment,” he said. “It needs to be looked at.

“That’s not the way to play it really with short-arm penalties all the time. It’s frustrating.”

 

365 Digital

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