I was listening to Radio Sport today and I though Brendon Telfer made a brilliant point. He suggested that Graham Henry, Wayne Smith and Steve Hanson could not do much more to help NZ win the cup. Once they hit the quarters and it is knock out, it is no longer up to them but the players. I think he is so right. When they go onto the field, apart from a few substitutions, it is not the coaches any more but the players.
This got me thinking about John Mitchell and John Hart. Why were they so castigated. Especially Hart; it was the players going to sleep in 1999 that lost us that match, not Hart. In 2003 one could criticise MacDonald being picked, but it was the players who played so poorly and without vitality.
We need to mature as a nation and accept what happens. So I thought I would be the first to get in.
Regardless of the results at the world cup, Kudos to Graham Henry. He could do no more. They are brilliantly prepared. Some of us think that their combinations may not be quite what they could be. But the truth is, what a great three years! Awesome! We have been the best and no doubt are the best. Whether we win now depends on the players. It also depends on the other teams. Will one of these teams play the game of their lives e.g. France 1999? It also depends on the refs?
So I just want to say, well done Graham Henry. Regardless of the result, I honour you as a brilliant coach. I also pay tribute to John Mitchell and John Hart; hard luck, well done.