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Joe Schmidt And Graham Henry Really Disagree On How New Zealand Won In 2011

Joe Schmidt And Graham Henry Really Disagree On How New Zealand Won In 2011
By Conor Neville
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Graham Henry has been unveiled as the Guardian's star columnist for the World Cup. Before his opening column, he sat down for an interview with Andy Bull in which he discussed what went into winning in 2011.

While he was appalled by the refereeing performance, Henry essentially conceded that New Zealand choked in 2007 and that the answer was to delve deep into the psychological reasons that lay behind their failure.

Psychology is a difficult area. People sort of avoid it because they don’t know anything about it,” Henry says. “But after you’ve been through that situation, and found you couldn’t handle the pressure, then you have to dive into it, dissect it and get expertise in to assist with it.

In Henry's estimation, rectifying this enabled them to win in 2011.

This analysis is very different to Joe Schmidt's assessment of both Graham Henry led New Zealand campaigns. Indeed, given that Graham Henry's explanation tallies roughly with the conventional wisdom on 2007 and 2011 campaigns, it's likely that Schmidt would regard Henry's analysis as 'utter ballix'.


The Leinster fans forum 'Babbling Forum' contained a fascinating post from a year ago which revealed much about Schmidt's philosophy and modus operandi. He briefly touched on New Zealand's alleged mental edge over other nations and their World Cup campaigns.

Far from believing that New Zealand had choked in 2007 before standing strong in 2011, Schmidt believes it was 2011 final (the day they won it) that was the scene of their greatest choke.


Joe then talked about stuff he read about the All Blacks in 2007 versus 2011. That in 2007 they were supposed to be the best team in the world but they let the pressure get to them once again in the World Cup and bottled it. But that in 2011, being at home and post the earthquake there was no way they were going to let this one go, and mentally/physically and every other way there was no way they would be beaten. "So the story goes" he said.
"But its utter ballix"! (the only swear word he used during his talk).

According to Schmidt, there was only one reason New Zealand lost to France in 2007 and his name was Wayne Barnes. He was far too inexperienced to referee such a big match and delivered a horrendous performance. Despite dominating possession, New Zealand couldn't buy a penalty and the match-winning try involved 'a clear and obvious forward pass'.

However, in 2011, Schmidt believes there was one primary reason why New Zealand beat France in 2011 and his name was Craig Joubert.


He spoke to several New Zealand players since the game and they admitted they couldn't believe what they were getting away with.

He said Joubert is a super ref, probably the best around, but he had a very bad day. He said New Zealand cheated throughout the game and got clean away with it. He said he's talked to some of the players since then and they said they could hardly believe it as it was happening. Schmidt said in his opinion, the All Blacks completely bottled it in the 2nd half of the final, they were awful, but because of Joubert they got away with it.



Read more: We Don't Know How You'll Take Doug Howlett's World Cup Final Score Prediction

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