OPINION: Deans, Hansen poles apart
Sat, 25 Aug 2012 9:21p.m.
Opinion By Jim Kayes
The contrast in fortunes of former Crusaders coaches Steve Hansen and Robbie Deans couldn't be more pronounced.
Hansen's yet to put a foot wrong since replacing Sir Graham Henry as All Blacks coach. He's worked hard on how he's seen by the public via the media, his squad selections have been astute and patiently explained, and his team's winning.
The three test white-wash of Ireland has been followed by the straight forward retention of the Bledisloe Cup with a game to spare as the All Blacks recorded their 29th consecutive win at Eden Park with their 22-0 win against Australia.
It was the first time Australia's failed to score any points against New Zealand at Eden Park, only the seventh time they've been held scoreless by the All Blacks at any ground and the first time since 1962 when they lost 3-0 at Carisbrook.
Such are the unwelcome records Deans is collecting and while it's all gold for Hansen and the All Blacks, Deans must be wondering how a stellar coaching career with the Crusaders has turned to custard with the Wallabies.
Sure, he had some world class players to call on in Christchurch in the former of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw, but his Wallaby teams have contained some classy players too. Will Genia, Kurtley Beale, Digby Ioane and Adam Ashley-Cooper would all go close to making the All Blacks with Genia a certain starter.
It seems, from a distance, that there is a disconnect between Deans and his players but it's also clear there is a gap between the All Blacks and the Wallabies.
Deans has now coached the Wallabies to 14 defeats to the All Blacks with just three wins. He'd be sacked if he was the All Blacks coach with a record like that. Little wonder he's such a sad sack to interview while Hansen has become Coach Chuckles.
The Eden Park test showed that, while Luke Romano and Liam Messam are still finding their feet at a test level, there is life after Brad Thorn and Jerome Kaino. Both Messam and Romano have brought the physicality to the pack that Thorn and Kaino had, and with Brodie Retallick and Victor Vito there too, it augurs well for the future.
It's just one example of the seamless way Hansen has taken over from Henry. Things are the same, but different. Hansen has brought his own influence to the team and, for now, is a calm, genial bugger who seems to have a steady hand on the tiller. Test wins do that to a coach.
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25/08/2012 11:39:32 p.m.
Michael Matenga wrote:
Poor old Aussie.
Oh well… next!
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