Jane vows to be more hands-on in Hamilton

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2014
Cory Jane
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MUST DO BETTER: Cory Jane had one of his worst outings in an All Black shirt last weekend.

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"Damn I forgot to pack my hands for the game tonight. Learn from it and move on."

It was a swift and succinct summation from Cory Jane; tweeted hours after uncharacteristic handling errors blighted his efforts in Dunedin last week.

Tomorrow's final test against England in Hamilton carries greater importance for Jane than some of his team-mates. He needs to rediscover his groove; the type which saw him recognised as arguably the world's premier wing just two years ago. Otherwise, his place in the national team is under genuine threat.

When fit, Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Charles Piutau and Jane all have the potential to challenge for the right wing berth. Of the quartet, the usually charismatic Hurricanes wing has the most to prove at present.

"I just want him to trust himself," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "He's trying too hard. We've had a bit of a chat about that. He's come back from that ankle injury and hasn't been the Cory Jane we know he can be. There's nothing wrong with his ankle; it's just him feeling a bit of that pressure. We've tried to alleviate that for him and clear his head so he can be the athlete he can be."

After going missing in the foreign left wing role at Eden Park, Jane described last week as a "wake-up" call. Lazy carries let him down and attempts to be everywhere, rather than nailing his core duties, were counterproductive.

"Disappointing I dropped the ball so many times and turned it over," he said frankly. "If I didn't turn the ball over, then I didn't have a bad game. I did some good things but if you drop the ball four times you're always going to get a cross next to your name.

"I went a step too far. Bringing the energy should have been doing my position properly. I've had test matches in the past where I've got the ball twice but I've made those two times count."

This week it's about simplifying his approach, going back to what has worked so well previously. That's being strong in the air, linking with Julian Savea and in-form Smith in the back three in counterattacks and using his deceptively powerful fend to finish when given an inch of space.

"I'm still confident," he said. "I know I can still play rugby. I haven't been on form lately but I'm still doing as well as international wingers around. I'm not lighting up the field but I'm still not out of place in international rugby. I just need to keep backing myself and trust my ability."

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Jane recognises this is a chance to make amends, but also realises his place in the starting lineup will be increasingly tenuous if he does not recapture the form of old.

"Every time you play for the All Blacks you have to nail it, otherwise someone else is going to jump into the jersey." 

- Stuff

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