Accuracy in attack, tighter defence for All Blacks

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Lynn McConnell     06 Sep 2017     Getty Images

Assistant coach Ian Foster said while the All Blacks had conceded more tries than they would have liked, against Australia, they had also scored more points themselves but he said the attacking attitude had lifted the risks involved and had resulted in some of the opposition's tries being scored.
Some of the contributing factors to the tries had more to do with execution on attack than the side's defence while there was also the fact their defence was 'an on-going work in progress'.

"But clearly, we feel we have been making it too easy by gifting the opposition some tries through our own handling errors and we've got to work on that part of it," Foster said.

In relation to Argentina, he said it had been hard to get a measure on them this year.

They had met a South African team that had played a lot of rugby and Argentina had tried to match that with a lot of off-loading and popping off the ground-type rugby and the games had been fast and open while the South Africans had shown more steel and had finished them off in the two games they had had.

Foster felt Argentina would be disappointed by that because that style of game would normally have suited Argentina.

"What they do against us, I'm not sure, but they'll be hurting," he said.

They would have been especially disappointed with their last game, in Argentina, because they were traditionally hard to beat at home.

The Test was being played in the home area of the Barrett brothers, first five-eighths Beauden and lock Scott, and the anticipation was high that both would have starting roles.

It was likely Sam Whitelock, who had led the Crusaders to success in their Investec Super Rugby campaign would be given a break allowing Barrett to start.

Foster said Scott Barrett had shown a lot of maturity when going on last season's end-of-year tour to Britain and had fitted in very quickly.

"Then he's come through Super Rugby and he's had a pretty good campaign and he probably finished the campaign stronger than he started and now he's back in here and he's contributing and doing what we needed him to do. It's a pretty competitive position and there's a lot of pressure on our locks to keep growing and getting better," he said.

Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick were good benchmarks in the position and while Barrett was young he would grow and get better and better, he said.