Hansen says don’t sulk

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.’’

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