Rugby Championship News

Henry short over short turnaround

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Graham Henry delivered a pretty terse response when asked if he and his New Zealand team was going to find the travel to Melbourne this week an added burden to his preparation.

Having travelled across ten time zones, acclimatised within the space of six days and then faced – and conquered – a brutal South Africa pack, his team must now head back across eight time zones and face a Wallaby team fresh from a week off and, as Henry pointed out, in need of a win to keep their Tri-Nations hopes alive.

“Yup,” said Henry, when asked about the tight turnaround being a problem.

“You all heard that. We will be tired going to Melbourne, you will be tired going to Melbourne.

“We will have to adjust and we will have to really focus on improving the performance from today.

“It’s a challenge. But you can’t do anything about that challenge. I don’t think anyone else has an answer, you can’t extend the week by ten days.

“It’s only seven. And it’s going to be a matter of trying to get it exactly right.”

Australia put up their hand for the title last week with a sterling performance in defeat to South Africa, and Henry warned that the wallabies are by no means the whipping boys of the 2007 Tri-Nations, as most had perceived them to be before the tournament started.

“We know the Australians have got a very good rugby side. A lot of people have underestimated them and I think they were understimated here last week – they could easily have won,” he said.

“They are a good side in this group of three and that is why this is such a great competition.

“They know they have to win to survive in it next week. It’s going to be another biggie. Which we, as a team, need as we move towards the Rugby World Cup.”

Number eight Rodney So’oialo, the official Man of the Match against South Africa, believed his team and coaching staff would be able to prove a huge point by getting through the coming week unscathed and with a win.

“It is going to be a very tough week, and it is going to hopefully show how professional this team really is,” he said.

“It is going to be a case of doing the rigt htings at the right time and getting the recovery right and the body right for next week.”

Henry also added that there were no major injury worries in the squad ahead of next week’s match.

By Danny Stephens in Durban 365 Digital

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