Friday, December 09, 2011

All Blacks complete World Cup review

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew has hailed a great year where the All Blacks claimed the Rugby World Cup, although it was noted that losing the Investec Tri Nations was disappointing.

It is now standard practice to conduct a detailed review following the four yearly global tournament.

The review of the World Cup four years ago was difficult reading for some, as high performance manager Don Tricker broke down reasons and events leading into the All Blacks 20-18 loss to France in Cardiff in 2007.

The post-mortem this time around was “largely positive given the season the guys have had,” Tew said, and the NZRU completes the first major agenda item on its final list for the year.

The second is to confirm the new All Blacks coach.

"We thought it was a good idea for the board to hear the preliminary findings (of the All Blacks review) before the coach interviews," Tew said.

While it was obviously viewed that the All Blacks 8-7 win over France in the final constituted what would be classed as a successful year by most standards, Tew said that as always the team was judged by harsh barometers.

“There are some things, some learning we want to take forward into that exercise so that was useful and largely positive as you can imagine after the season the guys had, notwithstanding not retaining the Tri-Nations,” he said.

The All Blacks won the World Cup six weeks ago to complete their year on the field.

They won ten from 12 test matches.

While they continued their herculean hold on the Bledisloe Cup, back-to-back losses in the Tri Nations to South Africa (18-5) and Australia (25-20) saw the All Blacks lose that title for just the sixth time in 16 years.

Coach Graham Henry stepped down afterwards, while assistant Steve Hansen expressed his interest in the position, while other assistant Wayne Smith took on his new duties as Chiefs backup.

Hansen is expected to be the frontrunner to replace Henry although Clermont’s Vern Cotter and former Japanese coach John Kirwan are believed to be amongst the accepted candidates.

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