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Counselling for grieving All Blacks



All Blacks still feeling the hurt from a devastating World Cup... A rugby nation that prides them selves on rugby take things a little bit harder then everyone else and getting over a loss takes a little bit more time then your average team. I know they'll get back on there feet

The NZRU have put steps in place to comfort the beaten All Blacks through their latest World Cup grief - including the services of high-profile sports shrink Gilbert Enoka.

NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs said behind-the-scenes work was being done to help the Graham Henry-coached team get over their shock quarterfinal World Cup exit.

Hobbs said it was imperative steps were taken to ensure the All Blacks were able to move-on mentally as soon as possible following the 20-18 quarterfinal loss to France, a result which consigned the team to the side's worst-ever World Cup finish.

Constant contact was being made to those squad members who had returned to New Zealand.

"Yes. We are making sure no-one is isolated or left alone," Hobbs told Yahoo!Xtra in Paris.

"I know that Gilbert Enoka has been in contact with them all, providing them with advice on how-best to get through this difficult period.

"Yes, there has been some special care taken.

"The loss in Cardiff was devastating - it was very, very gut-wrenching.

"It has been a very difficult thing.

"It hit us so hard - it was hugely disappointing for everyone involved and hugely disappointing for all of our supporters, whether they be here in Europe or back home."

Hobbs has stayed on in Europe, along with out-going NZRU chief executive Chris Moller and his replacement Steve Tew, due to IRB commitments.

But throughout the two weeks since the shattering loss, Hobbs said he had had regular updates from back home on the mood of the nation.

"Initially there was a huge amount of disappointment, frustration and probably some anger," he said.

"But it was very heartening to see the reception the All Blacks received on their return to New Zealand. That was pretty special for the team.

"We are a long way away, but my take on it is that people are very disappointed but there has been a reasonably balanced reaction."

That included growing calls for Henry to be retained as head coach and several thousand supporters turning up at Christchurch airport to welcome members of the team home.

It is a vastly different reaction to previous World Cup losses where public opinion has quickly turned particularly on the coaching staff.

Hobbs said various reasons might be behind some of the good-feeling extended towards the All Blacks' latest unsuccessful World Cup squad.

"It could well be that this particular team, and the set of coaches and the management, do have a lot of support given their out-standing record over recent years.

"Also, of course it might be an illustration that our supporters and people who do love the game, while they are hugely disappointed, the All Blacks still do mean a great deal to them.

"They want to take a balanced view of it.

"Yeah, it is a Rugby World Cup tournament - it is a tournament we desperately do want to win. But it is a one-off tournament and the team has been hugely successful outside of it."

Hobbs said he had little time for the blaming game which has seen English ref Wayne Barnes being labeled public villain No 1 following the loss.

An IRB report has admitted Barnes, and his two touch judges, made mistakes.

But Hobbs said refereeing should never have been an issue.

"When you put the referee to one side, we still had the opportunity and the ability to win that game," he said.

"Unfortunately we didn't."

Meanwhile, Hobbs wouldn't be drawn on his own future.

He said the day after the 20-18 loss to France that he would evaluate whether it was right for him to stay on board as the NZRU chairman.

And if he thought a new voice was needed, he would step aside.

But today Hobbs stated: "At this point I don't want to make any comment."
Man, this is embarrasing!! I'm a kiwi & our players need to get hard. I mean, there was so much emphasis on this cup that they ended up being over drilled and under rugbyed. They rotated players to the detrement of the team atmosphere & player combinations. And now they need councelling...wow..I'm embarrassed.
Hobbs is an idiot. He's making the boys look soft.

Although I think Mealamu, Toeava, So'oialo & Smith dont need it as they were back playing in the NPC final.
Pathetic. They lost a game. Its not as if a relative died. Past All Blacks would be rolling in their graves if they knew.
Pathetic. They lost a game. Its not as if a relative died. Past All Blacks would be rolling in their graves if they knew.

I'm dreadfully embarrassed. This is a joke, I doubt any of the players actually feel depressed to the extent of attending therapy and they'll feel embarrassed also. Hobbs is a balding c*** who needs to go, so does Steve Tew. Just thought I'd get that out there.
Pathetic. They lost a game. Its not as if a relative died. Past All Blacks would be rolling in their graves if they knew.

It all depends if you treat rugby like its your 5th nature then NO you shouldn't worry about it, BUT If your as passionate in something you believe in, then yes i believe you should grieve for that something you believe in. Playing Rugby in NZ is the majority of most young males sporting choice from father to son and to represent your country is the catalyst of every schoolboys dream... Its only natural that if you lose a game in the black jersey, you not only let down your family and friends down but the whole of NZ so basically imagine that weight on your shoulders??
Well, ok they are sad, but it was all in their hands, so, like many good teams who have lost during this world cup, they have to build on this and improve. They should move on, and I am sure they will.

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