Hansen says don’t sulk
Steve Hansen wants the ‘‘Sulky Sallys’’ to stop worrying about the All Blacks’ training camps.
The second camp, which started yesterday and runs until tomorrow, will disrupt Super Rugby teams’ preparations for the final round of the competition prior to the June test window but All Blacks coach Hansen wasn’t going to allow the gripes to amend his view on this sensitive topic.
‘‘I know I am repeating everything I told you earlier in the year but am happy to do it again,’’ Hansen said from the team hotel in Christchurch.
‘‘Is it ideal for everybody? No. But it is what it is and we have had plenty of time to plan for it, and plenty of time to understand. When you look at the results [at the weekend], what effect did it really have?’’
That last statement was in reference to the Chiefs and Highlanders recording wins, and the Crusaders beating the Hurricanes.
The All Blacks management are adamant the camps must be approved, to allow them to prepare to play France but not all the Super Rugby clubs are thrilled about the effect it has on their training weeks.
There is also the risk of players getting hurt. Prop Tim Perry pulled a hamstring in the first camp in Auckland and Crusaders team-mate and loose forward Jordan Taufua was a late withdrawal from the Hurricanes encounter because of a tight calf.
‘‘Everyone has to make a sacrifice,’’ Hansen, who said Taufua had been managing a sore calf for some time, added. ‘‘We have to be flexible and adaptable to the world that we live in.’’
The Chiefs, when touring South Africa, had to ship their All Blacks back to New Zealand to attend the first camp and then lost to the Sharks in Durban. But Chiefs coach Colin Cooper put a positive spin on that inconvenience in the wake of the win over the Waratahs in Hamilton on Saturday night.
The internationals, said Cooper, were fresh, enthusiastic and, unlike the other Chiefs players, not suffering jet-lag. Hansen liked that.
‘‘We want the players to leave here invigorated and excited and you only have to see Coops’s comments – he was pretty positive about the whole thing,’’ Hansen said.
‘‘We can get all Sulky Sally about it or we can get on with it, you know? It is just the way it is.’’
The All Blacks were scheduled to concentrate on recovery sessions on Sunday, go through their plays on Monday and then have a 60-80 minute training at what Hansen described as ‘‘pretty low-key intensity’’ on Tuesday.
All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty, who were both unable to play for the Crusaders because of concussions, were to be assessed on Sunday.
‘‘Once the doc and sees where they are at, and if they have progressed enough they will do training. If not, they won’t be,’’ Hansen noted in reference to the pair.
Whitelock, who has been named as skipper in the absence of the injured Kieran Read, will be hoping to lead his country for the first time in New Zealand. The first test is in Auckland on June 9.
Meanwhile, Hansen approved World Rugby’s recommendation to trial new low tackle laws in the under-20 Trophy competition, by altering the definition of a high tackle from above the line of the shoulders to above the nipple line.
‘‘It think it is good. There is quite a lot of games where you make the tackle and it doesn’t look to be a bad tackle, yet it has been penalised. The clearer and simpler you can make it [the better].
‘‘We all know where our nipples are. Hit below that and you are going to be okay.’’