Wallabies set to feel NZ quake fallout - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies set to feel NZ quake fallout

By Chris Barclay of NZPA 07/09/2010 07:00:24 PM Comments (0)

The devastating earthquake in Christchurch has steeled the All Blacks' resolve ahead of the Tri-Nations Test against the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Assistant coach Steve Hansen joined the squad late after leaving his condemned property on the outskirts of the city with these words ringing in his ears: "You better do a bloody good job".

That's the message Hansen carried with him to the team environment on Monday, a rallying call for the All Blacks to do their bit on the field to sooth a fractured nation amid news of more jolts damaging Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa.

"One of the messages I was given is if you're coming over here make sure the time you're spending away from the people you love is worthwhile," Hansen said.

"It's put an extra edge on the Test."

Hansen was a day late arriving after his property at Tai Tapu on the outskirts of Christchurch was damaged beyond repair.

As Hansen was talking to media on Tuesday he received a call from his engineer confirming the house, renovated just two months ago, was "knackered'" - fractured by cracks "seven feet wide and five foot deep".

While Hansen was delayed as he made alternative living arrangements for his wife, children and 77-year-old father Des, there was never any suggestion he would not cross the Tasman for the third Bledisloe Cup Test of the season.

Christchurch-based team management and the eight Crusaders squad members were canvassed before they agreed to fly out on Sunday.

"Everyone was asked (about staying)," Hansen said.

"We said 'do what you need to do and we'll support that'. Luckily, from a damage point of view, the other guys haven't had too much.

"Everyone's got pretty understanding families. They realise the All Blacks are a very important thing for New Zealand."

However, news updates from home were viewed with trepidation.

"The hardest part is when you know there's more earthquakes (aftershocks) there," Hansen said.

"That frightens you a little bit because you're not there with the people you love and care about, you're over here feeling pretty helpless.

"I guess you can feel guilty about that or keep in touch with your family ... that's what the guys are doing."

Hansen rolled out of bed when the quake struck early last Saturday and was still coming to terms with the scenes of devastation he witnessed.

"Unless you were actually in it, you probably don't appreciate the trauma a lot of people have gone through," he said.

"Places have been wiped out, you drive along a road and all of a sudden there's a hump where there wasn't one before."

When confronted with the trauma thousands had suffered in Canterbury, Hansen acknowledged watching Saturday's Test might not be a priority, not that the team viewed it that way.

"A lot of people probably couldn't care less about there being a Test on because of the other things going on in their lives but if we put a good performance in, hopefully we can put some smiles on some faces back home."

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