Hansen confident in replacements
August 20, 2013
Fly-half Colin has played 10 Tests for the All Blacks © Getty Images
All Black coach Steve Hansen says replacement fly-halves Colin Slade and Tom Taylor have slotted in seamlessly after confirmation that Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett will join Dan Carter on the sidelines and miss this weekend's Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia.
Cruden has been ruled out for between two to six weeks with a posterior crucial ligament knee injury, while Barrett (calf) should be available for the match against Argentina on September 7. Lock Luke Romano has also been ruled out for the remainder of the Rugby Championship with a torn adductor. But Hansen was confident the replacements would step into the breach - particularly Slade and Taylor.
"Luckily enough Tom Taylor has been to a couple of camps. Colin has played 10 Tests and been to a World Cup. Both of them are reasonably comfortable in the environment," said the All Blacks coach. "The game plan is not too difficult. They've just got to come in and do their job and we've got to trust them and everyone else has just got to do theirs and do it really, really well. Really we are getting reward for the camps and having Tom Taylor [at them].
"We were getting reward for picking Colin Slade when he was injury free a couple of years ago. I'm confident they have got the skill set to do what we want them to do. They are confident people. Tom Taylor is a 90 percent goal kicker and Colin is a pretty accomplished goal kicker too. They come with a lot of skills."
Hansen was coy on whether Slade's Test experience would give him the front-running for the No.10 jersey. But he said there would be no change to the attacking game plan due to the injuries to Carter, Cruden and Barrett.
"They [Slade and Taylor] fitted in pretty good. They've got hold of it pretty quickly. It was pretty seamless," Hansen added.
Hansen believed the adversity would be good for the All Blacks focus heading into the second Bledisloe Cup showdown and even after dishing out a 47-29 hiding to the Wallabies last weekend he said there were areas they needed to work on.
"Yes we scored 47 points but we only played off about six set pieces. So that's disappointing. We've got to improve that," he said. "They scored 29 points so we've got to improve that. The score means nothing. We've only won one game. We've got to go out and do it again. If we can win another one then we get to keep the Bledisloe Cup."
Hansen also expected Australia to respond strongly to last weekend's humiliation in Sydney.
"I think they will come at us with everything they've got. They'll have a huge amount of intensity. There will be a lot more purpose about their game. A lot more energy," he said. "They'll work hard on being a lot more accurate than they were. They made a massive amount of unforced errors and if they get that out of their game they are right in the performance. We have to improve our game to match that."
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has reacted to speculation of a surprise problem between the club and Lionel Messi by saying they will do everything "possible and impossible" to ensure that he stays
Georges St-Pierre has announced he will take an indefinite leave of absence from UFC after vacating his welterweight championship
Jose Mourinho declined to confirm whether Chelsea are considering a renewed attempt to sign Wayne Rooney in January
David Moyes has reaffirmed his belief that Wayne Rooney will break Manchester United's goalscoring record
Steve Beaton is adamant going into a darts tournament believing you are not going to lose is the difference between success and failure, which is why Michael van Gerwen can go on to emulate Phil Taylor
Maurice Hamilton delves a little deeper in to who made the decision to award double points for the final race of the season
After Sam Egerton became the first person to be red carded in the Varsity match, Scrum Sevens looks at other high-profile dismissals at Twickenham
"The most exciting games of recent years have been in European competition; let's not destroy it. " Tom May on the Heineken Cup and why it means so much to the players
This weekend the Irish will be the teams to beat and with the rugby kicking off on Friday night, we take a look at the in-form sides and those who have work to do alongside all the latest team news
Following Formula One's 'double points' announcement, ESPN lists its top 10 rule changes, formats and gimmicks in sport that have left the majority scratching their heads
Manchester United winger Ashley Young has admitted he talked to previous manager Sir Alex Ferguson and current boss David Moyes about diving, but insisted the decision lies firmly with match officials
Wayne Rooney is back on Jose Mourinho's hit-list as the striker is yet to be tied to a new contract by Manchester United, according to reports in the British press
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he is "hoping for a good draw" when his side enter the Champions League last-16 lottery among the clutch of teams who finished as runners-up in the group phase of the competition
Manchester United boss David Moyes has scouted Atletico Madrid's Koke as he continues his search for a central midfielder
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has told tz he was "disturbed" by FIFA's decision to extend the Ballon d'Or vote and plans to investigate due to concerns as to whether it was "democratic."
Justin Pipe speaks to ESPN about how he almost gave up darts after losing his brother, and how a serious car accident almost ended his career
What is still at stake and all the Champions League group stage permutations, including Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City
The heavy weight of expectation rests uneasily on the broad shoulders of several British boxers at the moment, writes ESPN's Steve Bunce
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Phil Taylor is gunning for a 17th World Championship crown, but the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis will be out to deny him success at the Alexandra Palace