Late bloomer Moore credits 'hard work' for success

Glenn Moore
Glenn Moore
When Glenn Moore was dumped as Highlanders coach in 2010, his coaching career looked to be on the same trajectory as the Opportunities Party.

But on Thursday night he was crowned coach of the year at the New Zealand Rugby Awards, after guiding the Black Ferns to victory at the World Cup in Ireland in August.

It has been a case of from the outhouse to the penthouse for Moore.

When contacted yesterday, Moore said he had always loved coaching and that had never changed.

''I just love the challenge of coaching. Being part of a team. Just the expectation of having to win. Every week is a new week,'' he said.

He first coached the Zingari-Richmond premier team in the late 1990s and has been coaching ever since.

He was head coach for the Highlanders in 2008-10 but got the dreaded ''reapply for your job'' call after a disappointing 2010 season and was subsequently replaced by Jamie Joseph.

''We went through a rebuild there, but one thing I learned from that is that you have to be true to yourself. Sometimes you can get led away from that and go down paths which you, looking back at it, didn't believe in.

''But you have to stick to what you believe in. It's about hard work, making sure you have the right culture and environment.''

After being ousted from the Highlanders he helped coach North Otago for a couple of years, took over Mid Canterbury in 2013-14, where he hails from, and then took over from Greg Smith with the Black Ferns in 2015. There was also a spell with the Blues in 2015-16.

Winning the World Cup this year was the culmination of a three year plan.

The Black Ferns were real sponges and had a great focus.

''We started off and then built a real good group of players that had success, culminating with that win in the World Cup. We found different ways to play the game and I think we showed that in the final.''

He said the win had given a real momentum to the sport and felt women's sport in general was on the up.

''Ever since we have got back you feel there is a real groundswell of support. A real feel that the game for women is growing. I'm based in Australia and you have got the league setting up a women's competition, the AFL last year, which sold out. Women's cricket as well.''

Moore (58) said it should lead to a more regular competition for women's rugby in this country.

''I don't know what it will look like but there should be something there for our players.''

He warned New Zealand Rugby could not sit on its hands because NRL sides would be sniffing around the top Black Ferns to go and play league in Australia next year.

Moore is based in Brisbane these days, working as general manager for a food company.

So as a coach, are quality players - men and women - the same?

''They're sort of similar but a lot of things are different. They [women] tend to ask more questions. But we treat our team [Black Ferns] like a Super Rugby team. And the girls love it.''

Moore, who introduced Ben Smith, Israel Dagg and Adam Thomson to Super Rugby, said having good players helped a coach, but it was more than that to help build a successful team.

''I think it is a combination of all that. You have to get the talent and get the selections right. Making sure you have the talent is an important part of it.

''But having the culture right is important, too. The right values and ethics, working hard for each other.''

Moore said he never thought his coaching career would turn out like this.

But the rejection at the Highlanders never put him off.

''It never changed me. I still wanted to be coaching. I never lost my belief. It was special times down there. Hard times but it made me a better coach.''


Highlanders' loss, the big Union league's gain.