Injured All Blacks not 'whinging'
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 18:32
The first one was pretty clear cut
The All Blacks missed out on a world record winning streak, but it is injuries - not the record - that concern them most.
New Zealand were held to a 12-all draw by Australia in the Rugby Championship opener in Sydney on Saturday.
The World Cup holders were chasing a record 18 straight victories, but were denied by their Bledisloe Cup rivals, the Wallabies, in wet, slippery conditions.
The draw means the New Zealanders equalled, but could not better, the 17-Test winning runs of the 1965 to 1969 All Blacks and 1997 to 1998 Springboks.
Of more concern for All Black coach Steve Hansen were injuries to centre Ma'a Nonu and blindside flank Jerome Kaino, two of New Zealand's most destructive players.
"Ma'a looks like he's got a sore shoulder," Hansen told a post-match media scrum.
"But we won't know until the [Sunday] morning, until everyone wakes up and cools down and sees what the extent is.
"[Kaino] has got a sore elbow so he' in the same boat."
All Black captain Richie McCaw best summed up how tough a game it was for the players.
"With the greasy conditions, it was almost easier when you didn't have the ball because handling was tough," McCaw said.
The All Blacks' task was made all the more challenging by yellow cards to prop Wyatt Crockett in the first half and replacement flyhalf Beauden Barrett 11 minutes from full-time.
"The first one was pretty clear cut," Hansen conceded.
"Crocky [Crockett] got offside, then got offside again so he went to the naughty boy's chair.
"The second one, I'm not sure about. I'm going to have to talk to someone who understands the rules better than me.
"I thought it was just a tackle and he came back and the ball wasn't in the tackle area; it had come away from the tackle area so there's no offside zone.
"It's irrelevant really ... we're not whinging about it."
Hansen was also philosophical about the winning streak.
"The record has been talked about a lot by a lot of people," Hansen said.
"But, for us, the record is the outcome of winning games and how do we feel about not winning the game? Gutted - because we came here to win.
"Wherever we go we go, we go there to win. You saw that in the last minute of the game.
"We were defending, defending, defending, we get a penalty and the game's over on the clock and yet we didn't want to kick it out.
"I applaud that within the team because they've got the courage to want to play and win and be better than just a draw.
"That's what makes you proud as a coach, when you've got a group that'll show that much ticker."
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