3 Aug 2009

New Zealanders turn on beaten All Blacks

6:23 am on 3 August 2009

Passionate New Zealand rugby fans have turned on the All Blacks after an error-filled performance saw them crumble against the Springboks for a second consecutive week.

Talkback radio shows ran hot with callers rating the All Blacks performance inept and demanding the sacking of Graham Henry and his co-coaches following the 31-19 loss in Durban a week after going down 28-19 in Bloemfontein.

The back-to-back defeats have underlined the South Africans as favourites in this year's Tri-Nations championship and they have also moved ahead of New Zealand at the top of the world rugby rankings.

Former All Blacks coach Laurie Mains questioned whether it was time for Henry and his assistants Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith to step down.

He says there is a "use-by date" for every coach and it appeared the trio, now in their sixth year had run out of ideas on how to get the side back to playing its best rugby.