Ireland strengthened by self-belief - Coles

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Lynn McConnell     18 Nov 2016     Getty Images

Coles said when the All Blacks got to 29-33 behind their discipline had let them down. They conceded a penalty from the re-start after that score and Ireland had grown from that.


"They just kept playing and didn't go into their shell. They kept putting pressure on us and did that right up till the last minute when they scored. There's a lot of belief in that side to play until the 80th minute and unfortunately for us that cost us.

"We gave ourselves a chance but they just kept applying that pressure and they just had great belief they could do the job," he said.

Coles said he had let himself down with his throwing to lineouts in Chicago and he needed to trust his process.

He had been throwing well this year so he couldn't get down over one bad performance and had to believe in his ability because it would be very important this week.

Having locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock back was significant as they were world-class with plenty of experience and would be good for the All Blacks' lineout, but he had to do his job for them to be effective, he said.
Flanker Liam Squire said he was looking to ensure he did his core roles to be able to contribute to the side's overall performance and much of that was based around clarity.

"If you've got 100 percent clarity on what your role is and what we are trying to achieve the game flows on from there," he said.

The loss had created an edge, and Coles said it shouldn't take a loss to do that, but it had and the onus now was on them to produce a better performance.

"During the week there has been a lot of responsibility on the leaders to really step up. The leaders last time probably let the side down and making sure we bring the guys up and make sure they follow us with plenty of edge during the week. But we can't have the edge during the week and not turn up on Saturday.

"We have to make sure we keep building through to Saturday and keep that emotion, and edge, in check and make sure we don't play the game too early," he said.

The Irish lineout was favoured with height and hooker Rory Best was a top player so they won their own ball and defensively they were strong with the likes of No.8 Jamie Heaslip effective. That had ensured the All Blacks had put more planning into their lineout this week.

"They put a lot of pressure on our jumpers so we lost a bit of ball and we've got to give a lot of credit for that and we have to do a little bit more work this week so hopefully we can win our own ball," he said.


Without giving anything away about their respective work-ons for the game both first five-eighths Beauden Barrett and wing Julian Savea acknowledged the last fortnight had been good after the loss in Chicago and preparation this week, especially, had been good.

Savea said the All Blacks did go into the game as the underdogs as they had lost the last game between the sides.

Asked what the difference had been between the 2013 recovery to beat Ireland in injury time and the loss in Chicago, Barrett said the All Blacks hadn't taken the opportunities that were there in the last game.

"Perhaps we weren't as calm and decisive as we needed to be to get the result we wanted," he said.

Barrett said the All Blacks were aware of the anniversary of the legendary Jonah Lomu's death a year ago and while they didn't need any extra motivation they were thinking of him and his legacy in the All Blacks jersey.

Savea said Lomu was a big part of All Blacks' history and he was very close to several of the players.

Barrett said he hadn't thought about the World Rugby player of the year award he received earlier in the week. He had been preparing for the game and that had been his sole focus. He said his opposite Jonathon Sexton was a key player for Ireland and when he and halfback Conor Murray got front foot ball they pulled the strings for the side around the field. Sexton was a great player, he said.