Steve Hansen not camouflaging his emotions

RICHARD KNOWLER
Last updated 05:05 13/06/2014
STEVE HANSEN: ‘‘Our skill sets were very poor, probably the poorest they have ever been.’’
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
STEVE HANSEN: ‘‘Our skill sets were very poor, probably the poorest they have ever been.’’

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Jerome Kaino serves up a reminder of All Blacks pecking order before returning to Blues Former All Black Troy Flavell pleads guilty to drink driving Richard Knowler: NZ Rugby may go it alone if World Rugby cannot arrange 'global season' Sir Clive Woodward says All Blacks not yet threatened by England as world's best Sonny Bill Williams will give any Olympic sevens medal to his daughter NZ Rugby sets cheapest ticket to British & Irish Lions tests next year at $149 Marc Hinton: Statement series for big movers Beauden Barrett and Israel Dagg All Blacks prop Joe Moody commits through to next Rugby World Cup 'Bordering on the ridiculous': Hansen says global season can't come soon enough Ireland can beat the All Blacks, lock Iain Henderson says

If only the walls inside Steve Hansen's war room could talk. Because they might have some colourful tales about how he verbalised his reaction to last weekend's error-ridden performance against England.

Ben Smith, who - barring a calamitous performance in tomorrow night's second test - is set to remain at fullback for the final match in Hamilton because of Israel Dagg's knee injury, acknowledged All Blacks coach Hansen hadn't been camouflaging his emotions.

''He's been, obviously like us, really disappointed with the way we played on Saturday - so, yeah, he's looking forward to this weekend just as much as we are,'' Smith said.

Read between the lines of that statement and you sense Hansen's mood must have been dark.

When reviewing matches the backs and forwards sometimes split into different groups, while Hansen and his assistants take turns to deliver the messages.

But in Dunedin this week the squad stuck together for their honesty session and Smith confirmed Hansen took centre stage.

Exactly what was said remains under wraps but it doesn't require a wild imagination to understand the tone it was delivered in.

In public Hansen refused to sugar coat that effort with faint praise.

''Our skill sets were very poor, probably the poorest they have ever been,'' he fumed.

''The guys themselves were disappointed in the way they played; we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we did manage to win the test but at the time they are very proud people who want to play a game they can all be proud of.

''Last week they weren't proud of their performance.''

Smith said Hansen has never been reticent about lobbing verbal grenades at training and indicated that hadn't changed this week.

''He's a pretty calm character, normally, and if there is a word to be said he will say it. Yeah, he's been the same old Shag,'' he laughed.

Hansen said Dagg's patella tendon injury, which he has carried for much of the Super Rugby season, was affecting his kicking game and ability to launch in the air.

''It's not going to come right in a week so, more than likely, he won't play next week.''

The Highlanders' Patrick Osborne, who has been training with the squad this week, will join the squad in Hamilton if Dagg is unfit.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content