All Blacks look to improve accuracy

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Lynn McConnell     15 Jun 2016     Getty Images

Analysis of the first Test performance has occupied thoughts and improving the accuracy across the side has been the goal during training this week.

Fullback, and vice-captain, Ben Smith's reaction was typical when he said: "There's probably a few things I just need to fix up, I wasn't as accurate as I could have been at times and I'm going to work hard on that this week.

The team had identified areas of their game in Auckland, their execution needed to be better but they had 'nailed that off on Monday' and trained around it on Tuesday, he said.

The new look to the backline had bedded in well, he said.

"I thought as the game went on we learnt probably learnt a lot and started to adjust to what Wales were doing. They played really well and put us under quite a lot of pressure so you have to give them credit for how they played. But I think as the game went on we adapted a wee bit better and started to get our game going and the combinations started to work better," he said.

Also on the 'to-do' list was working on ways of coping with Wales' rush defence.

Smith, who moved to the wing when Beauden Barrett came on as a replacement in Auckland said: "I enjoy it when Beauden comes on as substitute. He's got a few tricks up his sleeve. We've played quite a bit of footy together over the last few years and at the weekend he showed the skill set and how good he can be at impacting a game when he comes on."

Barrett said coming on as a substitute allowed him to see what was happening in the game during the first half and where the space and opportunities were. He looked to own one side of the ruck by being another first receiver and to lift the side and make a difference.

He said there was an active eye kept on when defenders were looking tired and the opportunity for mismatches.

"That's certainly something the bench focuses on and is making a difference," he said.

There were similar skill sets between his Super Rugby option of first five-eighths with the Hurricanes and those used at fullback when coming on as a substitute. But there was a different mindset resulting from seeing different things, especially space and that was why he enjoyed playing fullback, he said.

Smith added that different perspectives were seen both on attack and defence at fullback and the key result of that was ensuring the information was transferred to the players up front.

While he was always keen for an opportunity to start a game, Barrett said: "I'm happy with my role at the moment and that's coming off the bench last week. Whatever it is this week if I can contribute to the team and make a difference then that's what I have to focus on. It's being consistent with it too and making sure I'm felt when I'm on the field."