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Australia

  • Mitchell (2),
    Conversions: Giteau (2),
14 - 19

New Zealand

  • McCaw, Sivivatu,
    Penalty goals: Carter (3),
  • International Match
  • 1st Nov 2008
  • KO 08:30
  • Att: 20,000

Henry happy to 'win ugly'

Mortlock points to lack of discipline

Last updated: 2nd November 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Henry happy to 'win ugly'

Cory Jane and Hosea Gear with the trophy

The guys won ugly. They got better as the game went on. They played much better in the second-half than the first but it was a typical All Black/Wallaby Test match - hard as hell - and our guys showed enough guts to get through it and win.

Graham Henry
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New Zealand coach Graham Henry was delighted to see his side grind out a result in the first Bledisloe Cup played on neutral territory.

The All Blacks eventually ran out 19-14 winners in Hong Kong after overturning an early 10-point deficit.

"The guys won ugly," the veteran All Blacks coach said. "They got better as the game went on. They played much better in the second-half than the first but it was a typical All Black/Wallaby Test match - hard as hell - and our guys showed enough guts to get through it and win."

Henry also revealed instilling a change of tactics into the players at half-time was largely behind a second-half display in which Australia failed to add to their total.

"It was just a matter of trying to get better tactically," he added.

"We put a bit of ball behind them in the second-half which I think was helpful. I think the guys took a while to get the pace of the game and their second wind in those conditions.

"They played better, more passion and more urgency in the second half and also I think the ball behind gave us a bit of go forward as well so I was pleased with the improvement."

Captain McCaw conceded New Zealand need to start competing from the first whistle but was full of praise for how the players managed to turn the game around.

"I guess the big thing is that the last two Test matches especially we've started points down," he said.

"We wanted to start well but didn't start as well as we'd have liked so that's definitely something we're going to be working on.

"We talked about it this week but it took a while to get into the game. We knew where we wanted to attack but it was just a matter of setting it up to do that.

Dominance

"The dominance up front we took a while to get into that, didn't quite get the edge there that we were after until the second half.

"They're the things that we'll try to rectify but a lot of courage from the outset from the guys, when you're under the pump to still believe in what you're doing and turn things around because it was a pretty good team we were up against."

Australia coach Robbie Deans insisted he has plenty of positives to take from the game. "I believe we made progress tonight. We were possibly more deserving tonight but still not good enough and clearly we just have to keep going and get to the point that we're so deserving, we just have to keep going," he said.

Skipper Stirling Mortlock, on the other hand, felt conceding crucial penalties proved to be their undoing.

"Discipline, from our perspective, let us down a number of times," he said.

"We gave them possession and territory through penalties. It hurts.

"The majority of the guys were on their feet and tying very well but we still let it slip a few times and when we did, the All Blacks pounced on it."

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Phil Edwards

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