Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from New Zealand’s year-end tour.
Henry happy with performance
Graham Henry was happy his young side’s performance against a physical and determined Munster side and claimed the occasion was bigger than the result.
The European champions looked set to repeat the achievements of 1978 before the All Blacks broke the hearts of Munster fans in the dying minutes of the game.
“The win? Well, it’s nice to have a win but I think the occasion was more important than the win,” said Henry.
“But the story was a very special rugby occasion. I haven’t been in an atmosphere like that very often. I just think it shows what the Munster team and the geographical area it represents means. It was great to be here to be part of that.
“I think the Munster boys should feel very proud for what they did out there today.”
Hansen says there’s plenty in the tank
All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen is not worried about any of his players suffering from burnout in the remaining weeks of New Zealand’s European tour.
While youngsters and fringe players formed the bulk of the side that beat Munster, the All Blacks are expected to return to a full strength line-up for the two remaining Tests against Wales and England respectively.
Hansen is confident there is enough gas left in the players’ tanks to ask them to see out the rest of the tour.
“They are capable of that. This is a young team and there are two tests to go,” said Hanson
“The guys have had the chance to freshen up after the Tri-Nations so they need game time now. We are in good shape. The three tests have given us that opportunity and this midweek game as well.
“We should be able to go into the Wales game in good shape.”
State side Bledisloe fixture on the cards
The New Zealand Rugby Union are close to finalising a deal that would see the All Blacks playing in America next year.
According to reports in the Australian press, New Zealand and the Wallabies are set to met in Denver in 2009 following the success of the Bledisloe Cup tie in Hong Kong this year.
An extra Test against Wales in Cardiff at the end of the All Blacks’ 2009 year-end tour is also a strong possibility. This comes after the match against England at Twickenham was added to this year’s European tour.
The NZRU stand to make about AU$ 1.7 million from the England match, while the Hong Kong clash in November generated around AU$ 3.4 million.
More to follow …