Home Sport Test baptism of fire for Robertson – ‘It definitely wasn’t Super Rugby’

Test baptism of fire for Robertson – ‘It definitely wasn’t Super Rugby’

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New Zealand edged an attritional battle 16-15 in Dunedin, only sneaking in front of England through two penalties from flyhalf Damian McKenzie.

Coach Scott Robertson chalked up his first win in his first Test in charge of New Zealand. File Picture: Michael Bradley, AFP

NEW All Blacks coach Scott Robertson admitted on Saturday that the grinding win over England had delivered him a stark reality check on his Test coaching debut after seven years of dominance in Super Rugby.

New Zealand edged an attritional battle 16-15 in Dunedin, only sneaking in front through two penalties from flyhalf Damian McKenzie.

“It definitely wasn’t Super Rugby, was it?” said Robertson, who steered the Canterbury Crusaders to seven successive Super Rugby titles before taking charge of the All Blacks.

“The boys are really pleased. They said: ‘This is Test footy, well done coach, good on you’,” Robertson said.

“I can’t say it was a good reminder, because it was my first (Test). It was a good experience for us all.

“It’s those air battles and all the small margins. You’ve just got to kick your goals. Every point counts and every opportunity counts.”

Robertson said he knew nothing would come easy against opponents who had been together for three weeks and were playing their seventh Test this year. “I’m just pleased with the mental strength to come through it all, with new calls, new management and everything,” Robertson said.

“After 10 days together, we still found a way, and that was the pleasing part. There’s a lot of stuff we can get better at.”

The 49-year-old was seen on TV hitting the wall in the coaches’ box in frustration during some nervous moments in the second half.

“I’d like to say I was calm and composed,” Robertson smiled.

“It’s a good way to let a little bit of steam off. I did get a bit emotional a couple of times, but as long as the messages are clear going down to the players, I think we’re all better for it – coaches, management and players.”

AFP

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