New Zealand coach Graham Henry admitted to a mixture of relief and immense satisfaction following his team's comprehensive 33-6 Tri Nations victory against Australia.
Henry delight at All Blacks win
New Zealand coach Graham Henry admitted to a mixture of relief and immense satisfaction following his team's comprehensive 33-6 Tri Nations victory against Australia today. The three-tries-to-nil triumph was by far the All Blacks' best performance of the campaign and came after weeks of criticism directed at himself, assistant coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith and the players following several substandard efforts - particularly against new champions South Africa. "We're delighted with the performance. It's been a while coming and the guys played well in all facets of the game," said Henry. "The team's been under huge pressure and they have responded to that pressure and played particularly well tonight. "We got some really good first phase ball at the line-out and scrum and as the game went on that got more and more." Henry singled out the loose forward trio of captain Richie McCaw, Adam Thomson and Kieran Read, who totally dominated their opposites David Pocock, Rocky Elsom and George Smith, who was substituted late in the game, at the breakdown. "The work at the tackle area by the forwards in general, but particularly the loose forwards, was exceptional," the coach added. "We had a big game in the loose with Richie, Adam and Reado. They played well there and were backed up by the tight five. We turned over a lot of ball and put the pressure on. "We played well on attack and well on defence. It was a good all round game." The forward dominance gave the backs space and time - something that has been missing in earlier games - and they thrived with Cory Jane, Ma'a Nonu and Joe Rokocoko all crossing the whitewash. Daniel Carter successfully converted all three tries as well as four penalties. Australia's six points came from a Matt Giteau penalty and a Berrick Barnes drop-goal.
* PA Sport