Henry: Not good enough against Tonga

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 00:00
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The All Blacks were given a bare pass mark by coach Graham Henry for the way they stumbled against Tonga before winding up 41-10 winners in their World Cup opener on Friday.

The All Blacks were given a bare pass mark by coach Graham Henry for the way they stumbled against Tonga before winding up 41-10 winners in their World Cup opener on Friday.

After racing to a 29-0 lead in the first half hour, the All Blacks allowed Tonga back into the game with the margin narrowing to 34-10 before they scored a late try.

The top-ranked All Blacks went into the match wanting to make an emphatic statement that they were on top of their game but instead produced their lowest ever score against the lowly rated Pacific Islanders.

Henry said he rated his side's performance at "six or so" out of 10, particularly because of how they fell away in the second half.

"We scored some good tries, got maximum points, defended well, had a good structure, made too many mistakes and gave away too many penalties so a bit of work to be done," he said in summing up the performance.

With rugby-obsessed New Zealanders demanding their side atone at their home World Cup for repeated failures over the past 24 years, captain Richie McCaw tried to put a positive spin on the unconvincing performance.

"There were some good things, particularly early in the game, things we practised came off but it's a pity we didn't do it for the whole 80 (minutes)," he said.

"We had two or three opportunities to score and we didn't do that and we probably got a bit frustrated trying to achieve a bit much and we made mistakes."

Henry was also angered by the way the Tongans opted for scrums on the All Blacks line in the second half, looking for a try when a penalty was on offer.

It sent a message to tournament heavyweights Australia, South Africa, France and England that they did not rate the All Blacks pack as a weapon to be feared, but Henry believed it ruined the game.

"I don't think anyone enjoyed it to be frank, pretty boring part of the game," he said.

"I'm sure the people who were watching it live and on tv would agree with that, so the less repeats we have of that in the tournament the better."

Tonga replacement prop and try scorer Alisona Taumalolo, however, rated the scrums as the best part of the game.

"I really enjoyed it. I loved it. I kept saying to the ref I can scrum all night.

"We showed the world we can scrum, and we love contact and a physical type of game. For us we took a chance and scrummed with one of the best scrums in the world and I was excited."

Taumalolo gave credit for the technique of the Tonga scrum to their specialist coach Dan Cron, a son of the All Blacks scrum coach Mike Cron.


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Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h00 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 13
England 3 1 0 2 6
Fiji 4 1 0 3 5
Uruguay 3 0 0 3 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa 4 3 0 1 16
Scotland 3 2 0 1 10
Japan 3 2 0 1 8
Samoa 3 1 0 2 4
United States 3 0 0 3 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 19
Argentina 3 2 0 1 10
Georgia 4 2 0 2 8
Tonga 4 1 0 3 6
Namibia 3 0 0 3 1
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 14
France 3 3 0 0 14
Italy 3 1 0 2 5
Romania 3 1 0 2 4
Canada 4 0 0 4 2