Time has relentlessly continued on, as we now near two weeks since the world of union had its final New Zealand song.
In this land, we have already had the announcement of the SupeRugby squads for 2012, which signals to everyone that the rugby predilection halts for no trophy. While some of the players are taking some time to prepare for a season that begins in February - Seven is heaven… even in training gear *looks again at the SA kit* – sporting fans from both our passionate nations may even have some free time to catch some cricket – Yes Bob, and some fish!
There will be plenty of time to talk the playing personnel for this new year; in the following words, let us move to those that sit in the high and lofty locale of the coaches box, doing their best to retain sanity as the stress levels top out.
In the Republic, post P-Divvy talk has opened up a plethora of potential, with many wanting the new rugby fashion statement – a Kiwi coach. In my social travels, those in the know repeat the name of Allister Coetzee, as the next likely leader of the pack. Opportunity for comment will also arise at a later date if this will prove so, even as you are free to offer your reasoned thoughts down below.
On this side of the pillow, King Henry has officially decided to step down from his throne. Peace has found his inner Kingdom, and there is no place like leaving, and so remaining, in that home. It is sad to see him go! Early on, Principal Henry, needed no second to incite the irascible toward an invitation, as his smiley-frown [he can do both and at once] broadened often after his words went forth. I am not sure if it is the warmth of the wintering of his career, or a greater sense of the vivid ending that the Cup has illuminated on his All Blacks coaching career, but Henry has added multiple marshmallows to his straight black… milo.
As indicated, Graham Henry thanked one and all for the honour and privilege afforded a man who understands what it means to have four more years.
In this press conference, there were certain words that stood out from the page, as he said his piece, which deserve a crescendo of their own.
Speaking of his family and the Rugby World Cup Final, he would describe their experience in the following manner:
“They went through hell last Sunday.”
Didn’t we all! I would tweet at the time when there was approximately 20mins remaining that – This is Torment!
However, in this high octane world; it is too easy to forget the impact on one’s attachments. In fact, it is probably those nearest and dearest who must wade through much of the talk, comment, conjecture, and filth, than the man under the pump. They don’t live and breathe in the rarefied air that conditions the context as a cocoon.
If that reads too much; he would go on:
“There’s a very fine line between being the hero or the villain. I know that line very well, probably more than most, and that puts huge pressure on the people who have no control over that. I have a routine every week leading into test-match rugby and a routine every year to try to make sure we are prepare as best we can.
They have got no routine except hope and that’s a difficult situation.
They feel that pressure just walking around, the people they meet. They are not the reason I’m giving up but they are a very important part of what has happened over the last couple of years and I understand it.”
My respect for the man just increased after reading these words again. Empathetically insightful from one who knows!
The chasm that separates three points. I may write a post with that title, but the comparison between 2007 and 2011 is night and day. One grasps to a greater degree the sudden death of knock out sport. All the talking makes little difference once it is gone. Analysis of the performance almost feels superfluous to what has taken place, as reality has taken a step beyond. We understood that in New Zealand in 2007, even as we continued to warm ourselves with the glow of what “should” have been. However, it is even more so now, as our fortunes have reversed with the Republic’s.
Two. Hope means being still in the game to be a changer. As long as Henry has his hands in the battle, he can play some part in winning the war. All others can only watch, and that means family members who are vicariously included in the failure and the guilt of their kinsman. Their bloodlines committed this crime, with the result a very public affair.
Hard and not even fair!
Finally from Henry; words about the impact of this job on the man, as he would describe events relating to his reality.
“I was up at 4.30 this morning, ridiculous I know, but I’m still winding down”
Affirming such is not cause to consider feeling sorry for the man and his context, as this is a dream job, but every opportunity has a cost.
Henry finishes his time as head coach of the All Blacks with an 85.4% winning record. When one considers this translates to 88 wins from 103 Test Matches over an 8 season period, the record will stand the test of time.
All Blacks rugby is marked by a refusal to lose – period – that maybe for the first time was subsumed for a bigger cause in the year of 2011. Henry would speak before the final Tri-Nations Test in Brisbane about the deadness of the rubber. He had his eyes on a bigger prize, and his vision was justified.
Henry’s career has been somewhat of a trailblazer in New Zealand rugby after winning another term when all else was lost in 2007. This proved and paved the way for success in this year of 2011 with the winning of Big Will.
It would seem a fait accompli that the succession plan with Steve Hansen will be rubber stamped very soon, and while Henry will rest in peace in the land of the living; his impact should be chuckling well into the future. For the sporting code of this country that should better understand about the right time to win and when to lose, Henry has provided a template for a mature view of success, particularly in World Cup years.
Thank you, Graham Henry and Family; the All Blacks nation embrace you!
What Say You?
Shooting from the Lip