Henry fires up ‘average’ All Blacks

Graham Henry told his All Blacks that if they play against Australia like they did against the Boks in Wellington, they will lose.

Henry told the media he was pleased with the 35-17 Vodacom Tri Nations victory and the 18 point margin, but he was not at all convinced with the quality of performance from his All Blacks.

“We need to look at ourselves rather than the opposition,” said Henry. “We won the game and we are pleased about that. We clawed our way back and the guys showed good composure. They didn’t let the situation get to them and they showed a lot of maturity. But we didn’t play as well as we should.

“We have to be responsible for our game. We have to make sure we take it on the chin and make sure that we improve. There are a lot of aspects of our game that need attention.

“If we don’t improve on tonight’s performance we will come second [next week in Brisbane]. But I think that is what this side needs, it needs big-game pressure. The set-piece ball wasn’t that good quality so we found it hard to get.”

Henry added that the Boks’ slowing down of the game, especially with players going down ‘injured’ was another frustration to an All Blacks team that wants to play the game at pace.

“The thing that frustrates me is the number of times people go down with injury and that makes the game difficult. I’d like to see the referees more diligent about that so that the game flows a lot more.I think the game is being slowed down on purpose, yes. (My guys) want to express themselves and enjoy the game. That’s what it is all about.”