New Zealand
Temper no longer a liability for All Black Dane Coles
September 7, 2015
Dane Coles saw yellow for striking with his boot © Getty Images

Dane Coles has lifted the red mist from his game and says his temper won't be a liability for the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup. Coles admits he had a short fuse which other teams exploited early in his Test career.

It came to a head when he was shown a yellow card during the 24-21 win over England in London last November, striking out with his foot when opposite Dylan Hartley held his jersey. Former All Blacks Craig Dowd opined that England weren't the first team to try to bait Coles and that they wouldn't be the last.

Coles, 28, told NZ Newswire the Twickenham incident was a wake-up call he could no longer ignore. There had been gamesmanship directed his way this year but he has resisted retaliation, coinciding with a lift in his general game.

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"I've always been a guy who plays on the edge but I learned a valuable lesson in England," he said. "I probably let little things get to me and at the end of the day that probably cost me. This year people have been doing stuff to me but I've just been getting on with my job. I don't want to make the same mistake."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was critical of Coles straight after the Twickenham Test, describing the act as "dumb" and pointed out that a wayward boot could easily result in a red card. Hansen said such antics could be disastrous in a tight World Cup game, which struck a chord with the Wellington rake.

"After the last incident I sat down with the coaches and we talked about a few things," he said. "I've just got to make sure I'm aware of it and channel it (aggression) in the right way and I feel like I've been doing that this year."

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