eldanielfire wrote: booji boy wrote: eldanielfire wrote:
deverix wrote:Also, what's with the myth being plastered around here that Hansen had a 'hugely successful' tenure as All Blacks assistant coach under Henry?
Hansen was largely an ineffective forwards coach for the All Blacks, from day-one had question marks over his worthiness of coaching at international level. He came under intense scrutiny for our abysmal line-out and set-piece against South Africa.
Henry and Smith did all the heavy-lifting. The success of that 2004-2011 period was down to them.
Hansen was never even remotely close to the class of Henry or Smith.
Now this is a post that gives me a good reason to point out silverware is not always the strongest indicator of possible test success. Sometimes it's about being a good fit. I think Robbie Deans was a great coach. His record at the Crusaders was second to none. I think however he was a bad fit for Australia, not that he was incapable at test level. (To be honest this past generation of Australian players no one has got the best out of them).
But it's sometimes about timings, being a good fit and who you are working with. Hansen was a great coach of excellent players, but a poor coach of lesser ones as he showed with Wales. Henry was a better overall coach but never got the All Blacks to perform as well in tournaments as Hansen did
. Smith was a rugby super brain but didn't quite work as All Blacks coach. Mitchell is working wonders with England but kiwis hate his tenure in the early 2000's. I have wondered about Gatland, so far his entire career has been him at teams with limited resources and getting more out of them than anyone else could. Helped of course by a great working relationship with Shaun Edwards. Can he be as creative and make as good choices when given a near flawless team that doesn't need his creative brain to fill in or work around the weaknesses.
Are you basing this on 2007 and 2011? In both tournaments we were hamstrung by the loss of the GOAT DC. In the quarter final in 2007 we had built a comfortable lead then lost DC to injury and his very good replacement Nick Evans also went down after about 5 minutes. We still battled away and only lost by 2 points. But yes a very disappointing result.
In 2011 I'm sure our path to victory would have been much smoother if we'd had a fit DC available through to the final as Hansen did in 2011. Look at the pivotal role DC played in righting the ship when we got the wobbles in both the semifinal vs the Boks and the final against the Wallabies. In 2011 we started the semifinal and final with our 3rd choice flyhalf (Cruden) and were down to our 4th choice, Stephen Donald, by halftime. Also the pressure seemed to get to Piri Weepu in that final and he missed all his shots at goal that would have created some much needed breathing room on the scoreboard. A fit DC would most likely have nailed those goal kicks and controlled the match better than the inexperienced Cruden.
Yes 2015 was a magnificent victory for Hansen's team but he was very lucky with injuries and we still only squeaked past the Boks by 2 points.
No doubt you would have done better with DC, but you can hardly complain about Cruden as back-up. It also shows what delights Henry and Hansen had.
2019 on the other hand was a dismal failure. A resounding win over Ireland followed by a comprehensive thumping by England in a match in which we barely fired a shot. This performance can't be held up as a better performance in a tournament.
If you are talking Tri Nations/Rugby Championship then I suggest that Henry's team faced much tougher Springbok and Wallaby sides than Hansen's sides did. The Jake White coached Springboks were a formidable team and the Eddie Jones/Robbie Deans coached teams were stronger than the Chieka coached rabble of the past 5 years.
You can't complain that Henry struggled because he had no Carter and then complain the Carter and McCaw less (and Nonu, Conrad Smith and Kaino less) All Blacks where not as good in 2019 and put the blame on the coach. It's not as if they lost to a scrub England team either, it's one that has a number exceptional players in a lot of key positions now (Curry, Underhill, Itoje, kyle sinckler, Vunipola 1 and 2, Daly, May, Tuilagi tc). Remember this si the generation who consistently out performed New Zealand in U20 world cups for a while.
A coach can only do so much. Hansen is a superb coach. I don't think losing to super motivated England stock full of class talent is any indication he got it wrong. Sometimes you have the players who can't do it as consistently no matter who coaches them. I think kiwis who should expect to have some world class players have been spoiled with the sheer all time All Black greatness of players between 2004 and 2015. You have to accept post 2015 no coach can make the All Blacks as consistently invulnerable as they were prior to 2015 and IMO the team might be another step down in 2019 with players retiring and aging now.
Hansen had by far the most talented squad at the 2019 world cup, same with 2015.
Hansen had the most desirable circumstances of any All Black coach to date.
Henry did a much better job than Hansen for a couple of key reasons:
1) ALL of the All Blacks opposition was stronger between 2004-2011. Wallabies, Springboks, France all significantly stronger teams during this time. The only exception was England and Ireland in the last 4 years of Hansen's tenure. But Hansen only had to face Eddie Jones' England twice. He faced Schmidt's Ireland five times losing twice. He was the first All Black's coach to lose to Ireland.
2) Hansen had better players at his disposal. The All Blacks depth only increased and became much stronger after the 2011 world cup because of the quality of players coming through sides such as the victorious 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 U-20 world cup winning teams. Then consider the key personal from each NZ Super Rugby winning team/campaign between 2012-2019 that Hansen had available to him:
The most-successful Hurricanes dynasty ever between 2015-2019:
Notable players: Barrett, J.Savea, A.Savea, Coles, Perenara, Nonu, C.Smith, J.Barrett, B.Franks, NMS, Shields, Vito, Goosen, Fatialofa, Laumape, Riccitelli, Aumua, Halahalo, Fifita, B.Lam, Gibbons, V.Aso, B.Thompson, M.Proctor etc..
The most-successful Chiefs dynasty ever between 2012-2019:
Notable players: Ngatai, Cruden, SBW, Rettalick, Kerr-Barlow, Messam, Afeaki, Bird, Cane, Lowe, Pulu, Harris, Weber, ALB, Mackenzie, K.Hames, Sanders, Boshier, Jacobson, Alaimalo, Laulala, A.Moli, Stevenson, S.Tamanivalu, etc..
The most-successful Highlanders dynasty ever between 2014-2019:
Notable players: A.Smith, B.Smith, Fekitoa, Sopoaga, Banks, Osbourne, Buckman, Coltman, Naholo, Squire, Frizell, L.Whitelock, Franklin, Hemepo, Walden, Dixon, D.Hunt, Faddes, S.Christie, DLB, G.Evans, Ioane, Lentjes, etc..
The equally most-successful Crusaders dynasty between 2012-2019:
Notable players: S.Whitelock, A.Whitelock, Crockett, Taylor, Moody, Franks, Read, Carter, Todd, McCaw, G.Whitelock, Laulala, S.Barrett, Douglas, Crotty, Romano, Taufua, Dagg, T.Taylor, Slade, Havili, Goodhue, Bridge, Reece, Ennor, Hall, Drummond, Jordan, Mataele, etc..
When Hansen was coach 7/8 of those years a NZ team won the Super Rugby title. During Henry's All Black tenure only 3/8 of those years did a NZ team win the Super Rugby title. The Crusaders were the ONLY consistently strong NZ Super Rugby team, throughout the course of Henry's eight-year tenure.
The depth in NZ rugby during Henry's All Blacks reign simply wasn't as good compared to the period Hansen was coach. The player quality+depth in NZ was worse during Henry's tenure (remember the days of players like Brendan Leonard, Aled Malmanche, Sione Lauaki, Stephen Donald, Issac Ross etc?).. Hansen had it much better player-wise, for example the international standard first-five options Hansen had available during the course of his 8-year tenure: Carter, Slade, Cruden, Mo'unga, Barrett, Sopoaga, Banks, Ioane, Black, Anscombe, etc.. (all in NZ available for All Black selection) Henry had to call up Beaver in 2011, we were so desperate! And the midfield options even more staggering depth for Hansen: Nonu, Smith, Ranger, Aki, Piutau, ALB, R.Ioane, Crotty, Fekitoa, Moala, Tamanivalu, Goodhue, Ngatai, Procter, Aso, Thompson, SBW, Ennor, Nankivell, etc.. (among the many quality world-class options Hansen had available to him over the course of his 8-year tenure), The outside back options that were available to Hansen: Smith, Savea, NMS, Piutau, Naholo, Mackenzie, Havili, Barrett, Reece, Jordan, Bridge, Ioane, J.Barrett, Lam, Goosen, etc.. Hansen had it much better in terms of the quality AND depth in the cattle available to him during his time compared to Henry. Significantly better in fact. Hansen had the golden-generation at his disposal, all the stars lined-up for him: NZ-U20's, Super Rugby, the quality of talent and depth coming through the systems was absolutely unprecedented in the history of NZ Rugby.
Take these things into consideration and it's more complicated. Hansen's winning percentage is unquestionable, 86% to Henry's 85%, but there is much more to being the best coach than that.
When judging the performance of a coach there are many factors we have to take into account, including the state of the team when they took over, the state of other international sides and the quality of players available.
Hansen sits well behind his predecessor Graham Henry and the late Fred Allen in that regard.
Much like it is tough to rank players from the professional-era and amateur-era side-by-side, it is a similar story for coaches.
The resources available to Hansen are far superior to what Allen had during his tenure.
Allen, for the record, coached the All Blacks from 1966-68 including 14 tests. Under his guidance, the All Blacks never lost a test.
During Allen's time, shorter terms of services were common for All Blacks coaches - in fact it took until Brian Lochore in 1985-87 to knock Allen off his perch as the second longest-tenured All Blacks coach in their history (by number of tests).
We have to take into account that Hansen was handed a team in an exceptionally strong position. Hanson inherited a ready made group of world class players and exceptional leaders.
They were coming off winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup and had most of their key players hanging around. He also had the advantage of continuity having served as assistant for the four years prior.
It was much different when Henry took over in 2004 with a high turnover of top-line players and a significantly different approach to team structures and selection from previous coach John Mitchell.
He had to re-build the team, from the players through to its culture.
Henry righted the course and got things on track for Hansen.
People seem to forget that Graham Henry was a very technical and analytical coach. He was a tactical genius and the All Blacks were very rarely (if ever) out-coached in the sense that Hansen was. Henry was very tactically astute whereas Hansen wasn't a very technical coach at all, he was quite the opposite, his strength was his emotional intelligence, he used this to connect and form strong relationships with his players and try to get the best out of them. Much like Cheika. The point is and the reason Hansen was able to be so successful with the All Blacks was the fact that at this level, when you have the best players in the world at your disposal you don't need to be an overly tactical coach. It's why likewise a coach like even Chieka would have been incredibly successful with the All Blacks, he was a similar type of coach to Hansen, emotionally strong, knows how to work with and maneuver the emotions of individuals and get inside the heads of players, to motivate, and manipulate his players for the ultimate team cause.
Coaches like Jones, Schmidt, Cotter all have to be more intelligent, shrewd and tactically proficient than Hansen because their teams simply aren't as good as the All Blacks. They are able to maximise the inferior-talent available to them. Henry was able to do this with Wales. Hansen attempted this with Wales and failed catastrophically. As we witnessed with the Wallabies under Cheika, this emotion/player based coaching will only work to an extent, it relies on simplicity and eventually you will be exposed and out-witted when pitted against much smarter, more tactically astute coaches, and that's what happened with both Hansen and Cheika. (See their last two years against Jones and Schmidt, and the 2019 Quarter and Semi-Final as the culmination of events that outlined their respective tenures).
In conclusion, Graham Henry has been the greatest All Black coach, followed by Fred Allen, Brian Lochore, Jack Gleeson and Steve Hansen somewhere behind.