New Zealand, with three wins and a draw, are top of the 2014 Rugby Championship table. William West / AFP
New Zealand, with three wins and a draw, are top of the 2014 Rugby Championship table. William West / AFP

All Blacks ‘perhaps need to lose a game’ to remain humble, says Henry

World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry has committed the ultimate sin in rugby-mad New Zealand, suggesting it would not hurt the All Blacks if they lose a game before they defend the Webb Ellis trophy next year in England.

The All Blacks have lost just once since Steve Hansen succeeded Henry after the successful World Cup campaign in 2011, winning 32 of their 35 Tests. They have also drawn twice with Australia.

Including their World Cup run, the All Blacks have won 39 of their last 42 Tests and with one year – to the day – until the 2015 tournament begins, Henry was sounding more of a warning for the side and public not to get complacent with their success.

“Perhaps they need to lose a game at some stage,” Henry told Television New Zealand on Thursday. “I know I shouldn’t be saying that but I think that galvanises the team and makes them re-analyse their position.”

Henry pointed to the All Blacks’ 12-12 draw with Australia last month in their Rugby Championship opener and then 51-20 annihilation of the same opposition a week later as indicative of the team’s ability to do just that.

Those two games were not the only time under Hansen that the All Blacks have demonstrated the ability to scratch the itch of a loss the next time they played.

The All Blacks’ only loss in Hansen’s reign was against England at Twickenham in their final match of 2012 with the coach stating afterwards it would be a less than enjoyable summer in New Zealand as they contemplated the defeat.

The side responded in 2013, becoming the first team in the professional era to compile a perfect record of 14 wins, with the final victory against Ireland achieved after they had fought back from a 17-0 deficit and scored after the final horn.

While Henry accepted the All Blacks were expected to win every game they played he was aware they would need to be mentally prepared from their first clash at next year’s World Cup as he saw parallels with the 2007 campaign.

Henry’s side entered the 2007 tournament raging hot favourites having won 39 of their 44 Tests, which included a 3-0 series victory over the British and Irish Lions, between the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.

They were drawn in a relatively weak pool, however, against Italy, Portugal, Scotland and Romania and accumulated 309 points, while conceding just 35, before they were knocked out by a fired-up France side 20-18 in the quarter-finals.

France had been drawn with Ireland and Argentina in their pool in 2007, losing to the Pumas in the tournament’s opening game to set up their quarter-final with the All Blacks and Henry said that a tough pool would play into the hands of 2015 Group A teams like Australia and England next year.

“It’s very similar to 2007,” Henry added of the All Blacks’ pool next year, which includes the Pumas, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia.

“I don’t want to frighten people. Very soft initial games at the rugby World Cup so it is going to be a major challenge again.

“Australia, Wales, England and Fiji all in the same pool as well, the two teams that get through that are going to be ready aren’t they.”

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Other acts on the Jazz Garden bill

Sharrie Williams
The American singer is hugely respected in blues circles due to her passionate vocals and songwriting. Born and raised in Michigan, Williams began recording and touring as a teenage gospel singer. Her career took off with the blues band The Wiseguys. Such was the acclaim of their live shows that they toured throughout Europe and in Africa. As a solo artist, Williams has also collaborated with the likes of the late Dizzy Gillespie, Van Morrison and Mavis Staples.
Lin Rountree
An accomplished smooth jazz artist who blends his chilled approach with R‘n’B. Trained at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, Rountree formed his own band in 2004. He has also recorded with the likes of Kem, Dwele and Conya Doss. He comes to Dubai on the back of his new single Pass The Groove, from his forthcoming 2018 album Stronger Still, which may follow his five previous solo albums in cracking the top 10 of the US jazz charts.
Anita Williams
Dubai-based singer Anita Williams will open the night with a set of covers and swing, jazz and blues standards that made her an in-demand singer across the emirate. The Irish singer has been performing in Dubai since 2008 at venues such as MusicHall and Voda Bar. Her Jazz Garden appearance is career highlight as she will use the event to perform the original song Big Blue Eyes, the single from her debut solo album, due for release soon.


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Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The Woman King

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Stars: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Sheila Atim, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega 

Rating: 3/5


5.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m; Winner: Mcmanaman, Sam Hitchcock (jockey), Doug Watson (trainer)

6.05pm: Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Bawaasil, Sam Hitchcott, Doug Watson

6.40pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (Dirt) 1,400m; Winner: Bochart, Fabrice Veron, Satish Seemar

7.15pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 1,200m; Winner: Mutaraffa, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

7.50pm: Longines Stakes – Conditions (TB) Dh120,00 (D) 1,900m; Winner: Rare Ninja, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

8.25pm: Zabeel Trophy – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh120,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Alfareeq, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

9pm: Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (T) 2,410m; Winner: Good Tidings, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

9.35pm: Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Zorion, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, Helal Al Alawi



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What you as a drone operator need to know

A permit and licence is required to fly a drone legally in Dubai.

Sanad Academy is the United Arab Emirate’s first RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) training and certification specialists endorsed by the Dubai Civil Aviation authority.

It is responsible to train, test and certify drone operators and drones in UAE with DCAA Endorsement.

“We are teaching people how to fly in accordance with the laws of the UAE,” said Ahmad Al Hamadi, a trainer at Sanad.

“We can show how the aircraft work and how they are operated. They are relatively easy to use, but they need responsible pilots.

“Pilots have to be mature. They are given a map of where they can and can’t fly in the UAE and we make these points clear in the lectures we give.

“You cannot fly a drone without registration under any circumstances.”

Larger drones are harder to fly, and have a different response to location control. There are no brakes in the air, so the larger drones have more power.

The Sanad Academy has a designated area to fly off the Al Ain Road near Skydive Dubai to show pilots how to fly responsibly.

“As UAS technology becomes mainstream, it is important to build wider awareness on how to integrate it into commerce and our personal lives,” said Major General Abdulla Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief, Dubai Police.

“Operators must undergo proper training and certification to ensure safety and compliance.

“Dubai’s airspace will undoubtedly experience increased traffic as UAS innovations become commonplace, the Forum allows commercial users to learn of best practice applications to implement UAS safely and legally, while benefitting a whole range of industries.”


Manchester United 1 (Fernandes pen 2') Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Ndombele 4', Son 7' & 37' Kane (30' & pen 79, Aurier 51')

Man of the match Son Heung-min (Tottenham)


Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

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