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.

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
WORLD CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 17
Wales 4 3 0 1 13
England 4 2 0 2 11
Fiji 4 1 0 3 5
Uruguay 4 0 0 4 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa 4 3 0 1 16
Scotland 4 3 0 1 14
Japan 4 3 0 1 12
Samoa 4 1 0 3 6
United States 4 0 0 4 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 19
Argentina 4 3 0 1 15
Georgia 4 2 0 2 8
Tonga 4 1 0 3 6
Namibia 4 0 0 4 1
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 18
France 4 3 0 1 14
Italy 4 2 0 2 10
Romania 4 1 0 3 4
Canada 4 0 0 4 2
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