All Blacks still have a RWC monkey on their backs

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen says that there is no complacency in the
All Blacks’ camp and insisted that they will not be going there to defend their
title but but going as contenders.

Hansen says that the All Black squad has changed from the last world cup so
this year is a fresh challenge as they look to win their first world cup on
foreign soil.

The All Blacks won the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cups but when their last campaign
in Europe ended with their worst-ever performance as they exited at the quarter
final stage.

Even though the All Blacks have the game’s best record throughout history they
still have a reputation for choking on the big stage, although 2011 went some
way to reducing it.

Hansen said the 2015 All Blacks had new goals: becoming the first New Zealand
team to win the Webb Ellis trophy on foreign soil, and the first from any nation
to successfully defend the crown.

“You’ve still got a monkey on your back because you’ve got to win it.
There’s an expectation to win it same as there was in the last one (2011),”
he told reporters.

“The difference is we’re going offshore, there’s a massive excitement
about the challenge we’ve got. We’re trying to do something no other team has
done before.

“This team needs big challenges. They’ve been the number one side in the
world for a long time and you can’t just keep plodding along doing what you
used to do.”

Hansen said New Zealand’s shock loss to France in the quarter-finals of the
2007 World Cup remained etched in the All Blacks’ collective psyche, ensuring
they would not allow standards to slip.

Hansen was an assistant coach under Graham Henry for that match, when the heavily
favoured All Blacks swaggered into Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and paid the
price as Les Bleus carved out an inspired 20-18 win.

“Everyone remembers 2007, whether you were there watching or back home,
whether you were a player or a media person — no one’s forgotten it,”
he said.

“It’s a great reminder to all of us that if you don’t step up you go home.”

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