All Blacks RWC diary part 1

Updates on the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup progress.

10,267 total views
  1. Tuesday, September 27

    10.10am:
    After Sonny Bill Williams' celebrated wardrobe malfunction, an All Blacks prop is reporting his own difficulties with the new adidas jersey.

    They're too tight for correct binding in the scrum, Ben Franks told Radio Sport today. Wyatt Crockett, who was not named in the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup squad, empathised with fans who were over the constant resetting of scrums.

    Crockett said it was "ridiculous" that the All Blacks could be penalised in the scrums as much as Japan were two weeks ago despite their forwards' dominance.

    All Blacks prop Ben Franks: "[The forwards] are usually the last ones to be thought of. I'm pretty sure the props didn't put in an order for super-tight jerseys from the get-go."

  2. Monday, September 26

    4.22pm:
    Lock Ali Williams refused to let foreign media drag him into speculating over who the All Blacks might face in the quarter-finals or voicing any concerns he may have.

    He said the All Blacks had learned their lessons about getting ahead of themselves, and that their focus was on what was happening "right here and now" - this weekend's clash against Canada.

    All Blacks lock Ali Williams: "Last time we got ahead of ourselves, we shot ourselves in the foot. We did it again a few years before that, shot our other foot. We're just trying to leave our feet on."

  3. Monday, September 26

    2.23pm:
    Assistant coach Steve Hansen says an official message of support from the All Blacks to National Rugby League grand finalists the Vodafone Warriors will be considered.

    He also said the team's thoughts were with legendary former All Black Jonah Lomu, who spent Saturday night in Auckland Hospital.

    The winger suffers from nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder.

    All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen: "Last night everyone was in the changing shed supping on their recovery drinks, watching and screaming out for the Warriors ... we wish them well and hope they manage to pull off their dream."

  4. Monday, September 26

    5.30am:
    The official word from the All Blacks' camp is that No. 8 Kieran Read may end his injury-enforced stint on the sidelines and take the field against Canada on Sunday evening.

    Assistant coach Steve Hansen said Read is currently considered for selection unless something goes wrong.

    Not being considered is left wing Richard Kahui, who played a starring role in Saturday night's victory over France before suffering a hamstring strain.

    All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen: "There will be changes but I think you can expect to see the core of the team that has been playing, back out there. We've sent a statement to ourselves that we are going okay and we are very happy where we are."

  5. Sunday, September 25

    11.18am:
    All Blacks coach Graham Henry was pleased by the win over France. He explained that the intensity of the match and the calibre of the French team - in comparison to earlier opponents Tonga and Japan - exposed points in his team's play that could be improved upon.

    Captain Richie McCaw, who had just completed his 100th test for the All Blacks, said there were "perhaps a couple of lapses" in the play but overall he was "stoked to put a performace together like that."

    All Blacks coach Graham Henry: "At times we struggled to get our defence into position ... and you only find those things out when you're playing quality opposition."

  6. Saturday, September 24

    10.43pm:
    The All Blacks have made a massive statement in their Rugby World Cup campaign, beating France 37-17 in an emotionally-charged match at Eden Park.

    After the game, captain Richie McCaw was awarded his 100th test cap.
  7. Saturday, September 24 - GAME DAY

    Rugby World Cup 2011 - Pool A
    All Blacks v France
    Eden Park, Auckland
    8.30pm

  8. Friday, September 23

    5.30am:
    The All Blacks' playmaker Dan Carter told reporters he was still feeling the effects of the back spasms that kept him off the team sheet for last week's match against Japan, but assured them he had confidence in himself.

    He also had confidence in the younger All Blacks charged with the task of putting New Zealand's fear of the French to rest. He advised Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui to be wary of France's passion and to concentrate on their own jobs,

    All Blacks first five-eighths Dan Carter:
    "Defensively you have to be right on the button for 80 minutes and really try and overpower them there. And if you do that you can be successful."

  9. Thursday, September 22

    12pm:
    All Blacks coach Graham Henry told reporters the decision to award young and in-form Israel Dagg the No. 15 jersey ahead of 98-test veteran Mils Muliaina was difficult and emotional.


    Of the selection of wingers Cory Jane and Richard Kahui, Henry said they were players who thrived on big occasions.


    All Blacks coach Graham Henry: "Cory ... when there's a few people around, he switches on. If there's nobody around, he could go to bed, you know? So I think the 60,000 out there - that's his scene."

  10. Thursday, September 22

    10.18am:
    That's the first hurdle crossed, then. Newstalk ZB reports that the All Blacks have been designated the home team for their pool match against France on Saturday night, meaning they will play in their traditional black kit instead of white.

    When critics weren't bagging the players or the coaches for the All Blacks' unceremonious exit from the 2007 Rugby World Cup, they were figuratively pulling apart the aluminium-grey jersey players were forced to wear in Cardiff to avoid clashing with designated home team France's navy blue.

    The All Blacks also wore the jersey against Scotland in the pool stages and while players refused to blame it outright for their faults, it was acknowledged that the colours were too similar to Scotland's navy blue. A similar controversy would erupt before that fateful day in Cardiff.

    Former All Blacks winger Doug Howlett:
    "Once you got into the game, you had to sight your targets and make sure it was a grey jersey as opposed to a Scottish jersey."

  11. Thursday, September 22

    7.34am:
    The All Blacks team chosen to face France/banish the wailing ghosts of past Rugby World Cup tournaments was announced, with four changes made to the team that started against Japan last week.

    Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Israel Dagg are back in the team after battling injuries, as well as Piri Weepu whose recent form has put him first among the team's halfbacks.

    All Blacks coach Graham Henry: "He's [Weepu] prepared very well. He's a different beast than he was a few months ago."

  12. Wednesday, September 21

    11.26am:
    The scars still haven't healed for some of the All Blacks who remember the shock defeat by France at the quarter-finals stage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

    Some players had never before seen a replay of the famous match at Cardiff. The screening was part of the All Blacks' effort to learn from past performances why they had not won the tournament since 1987.

    The two teams will meet again in the Rugby World Cup on Saturday night in a pool match at Eden Park.

    All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu: "To go through it and say 'this is what happened' and how we could have approached it better [was valuable]."

  13. Tuesday, September 20

    4.13pm:
    It's not a grudge match, halfback Andy Ellis says of the All Blacks' upcoming Rugby World Cup match against France.

    He told reporters the French style of play was unpredictable, and the All Blacks would expect the unexpected.

    Injured No. 8 Kieran Read expected France to try to dominate the scrums and lineouts.

    All Blacks halfback Andy Ellis: "I can remember thinking that I hoped that wasn't going to be it; that I wanted to have another crack and here we are four years on and we are playing France.''

  14. Tuesday, September 20

    3.25pm:
    Kieran Read says he is on schedule for a return to action at the Rugby World Cup.

    The All Blacks' first-choice No. 8 was sidelined after sustaining an ankle injury during the loss to Australia in Brisbane last month.

    The All Blacks team to play France will be named on Thursday morning. French coach Marc Lievremont announced his team today.

    All Blacks No. 8 Kieran Read: "I am in a good frame of mind and it all points to being right but I won't know until I get to that point.''
  15. Tuesday, September 20

    5.30am:
    Key All Blacks Richie McCaw and Dan Carter have made progress in their injury rehabilitation and hopes have been raised that they may be cleared to play France on Saturday.

    The All Blacks have reviewed past Rugby World Cup defeats and refuse to take France lightly despite their erratic form.

    All Blacks prop Ben Franks: "We have to step things up another level. We have to make sure we match their passion for the scrum."
  16. Monday, September 19

    5.15pm:
    Zac Guildford says he has let himself and his teammates down by breaching an agreement with team management over his excessive drinking while on tour.

    The winger, who has yet to play during the Rugby World Cup, was involved in a boozy incident following the All Blacks' Tri-Nations loss to Australia in Brisbane.

    All Blacks team manager Darren Shand: "Zac hasn't broken any laws here. Zac's now got a self improvement programme he has to work on."

Like
Share

Share

Facebook
Google+