29 Aug 2011

All Blacks' mental toughness under scrutiny

9:18 am on 29 August 2011

In the wake of the All Blacks' Tri-Nations defeat on Saturday, armchair critics are asking whether the All Blacks are hardy enough mentally to go all the way in the Rugby World Cup.

The Wallabies clinched the Tri-Nations decider on Saturday night, 25-20, just a week after the 18-5 loss against South Africa.

Jamie Ford, who has trained the Crusaders and the Canterbury Rugby Union in mental toughness and emotional resilience, says gaps in the All Blacks' mental preparation are showing.

"If we look carefully at the way the players describe what's been going on for them after they've played a game, they might say 'oh well we just weren't on the ball in the way that we ought to have been', and that sort of description can be quite concerning."

Mr Ford says the All Blacks should instead be treating their losses as aberrations to brush aside