Complacent All Blacks blasted

The All Blacks have been told to up their game ahead of the Vodacom Tri-Nations.

All Black manager Darren Shand confirmed the 30-man squad met in Christchurch last Thursday where team management had stressed the need to ward off complacency.

Shand said some players had shown signs of complacency, in preparation and performance, during the three Tests against Ireland and Argentina.

“That’s why they were given the message,” he told NZPA. “We felt it important from a management point of view for us to put a dictate down, to put a line in the sand, say ‘look boys, we need to reach this point and we don’t feel we’re there now’.”

Asked for the signs of player complacency that so worried management, Shand responded: “Have a look at our performances. We don’t think the way we prepared was good enough; that’s right across the group. We have to keep raising the bar and demand a high standard. We don’t think we had those levels in the group previously.”

Meanwhile, Shand denied a NZ Sunday News newspaper report which claimed some All Blacks players tried leaving their Buenos Aires hotel in Argentina last month without settling their room accounts.