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Graham Henry
"It's a totally different game based on extreme fitness and highly athletic, skilful players"
 real 28k

Saturday, 15 July, 2000, 13:54 GMT
Henry hails Tri-Nations opener
Graham and Raewyn Henry
Henry: The mighty Australia-New Zealand clash was "phenomenal"
Lions coach Graham Henry gave his immediate reaction to BBC Wales after New Zealand beat Australia 39-35 in one of the most thrilling rugby games in history.

The game, played in front of a world-record 109,874 crowd at Stadium Australia, Sydney, took rugby to new levels.

Henry, speaking from Australia after attending the game, said: "It was just an incredible game of rugby - just blew everyone away I'm sure.

"It's a totally different game based on extreme fitness and highly athletic, skilful players."

Australia the better side



It was just an incredible game of rugby - just blew everyone away I'm sure
  Graham Henry

Henry felt that Australia were the better side, but that turnover possession and poor goal kicking cost them dear. Then, of course, there was that man Lomu:

"Lomu is the outstanding player with the ball in his hand in the world," said Henry.

He reserved special praise for the composure and intelligence shown by the Australians in fighting back from a 24-0 deficit within the first nine minutes:

"It was a real show of character from the Australian side."

Lions chances



It's a totally different game based on extreme fitness and highly athletic, skilful players
  Graham Henry

Despite the obvious quality of the southern hemisphere giants, Henry was not daunted by the task faced by his Lions in Australia next summer:

"Nobody's invincible - we've got to look after our players over the coming winter so they're sharp enough to be able to compete with the Australians on a fitness level and athleticism level."

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See also:

15 Jul 00 |  Rugby Union
Lomu clinches Tri-Nations epic
14 Jul 00 |  Rugby Union
Tri-Nations 2000
14 Jul 00 |  Wales
British Cup put on hold
14 Jul 00 |  Wales
Nones to be rugby's Bosman?
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