Monday, September 26, 2011

All Blacks praise their coach "Ted" ahead of his 100th test...

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 27: All Black coach ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A week after All Blacks captain Richie McCaw celebrated his 100th Test cap with a win over France, another All Blacks leader will reach the milestone.

The All Blacks' final pool match against Canada will be coach Graham Henry's 100th match at the helm.
'Ted' as he is affectionately known by those he has coached, took over the reins from John Mitchell in 2004, following a successful stint coaching Wales.

Since then he has fashioned an impressive record which includes five Tri Nations titles, three Grand Slams at an 85% success rate.

The milestone obviously hasn't been mentioned much in the All Blacks camp with lock Ali Williams finding out about it at a press conference today.

"Is it Ted's 100th? Oh awesome," Williams exclaimed when asked about it.

However he was quick to praise the former headmaster, who is often viewed as hard taskmaster in the media.
"He's a great man, from the outside the perception is not actually the reality, he's got a great sense of humour.

"But he's a man that shoots straight at you, he tells you know where you stand. I can't speak highly enough about him."

Halfback Piri Weepu said Henry's coaching style had changed over the years.

"Everytime you guys see him he looks grumpy, but that's just how he looks. I guess from 2004 when I first made the team to now he has mellowed a little bit and he's probably more approachable now," Weepu told reporters.

However Weepu admitted he'd had to witness a telling off from the angry headmaster at times.
"Maybe once or twice in the changing room," Weepu said with a cheeky grin.

"But when you're not playing the best, the coaches are disappointed because they expect the best from you and you're not delivering.

"His standards are high and you've gotta try and stay at those standards, we have seen him erupt a few times, luckily most times we've done pretty well."

While Canada are unlikely to provide enough of a challenge to cause a Henry eruption on Sunday, there's no doubt the All Blacks will be keen to ensure their coach's 100th Test is a memorable one.
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