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Ireland hatch plans to counter Cruden

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James Mortimer     23 Jun 2012     Getty Images

Cruden is a heroic defender and something of a tree chopper with his low style, but Kiss believes that Cruden is protected by his team-mates - although not to the same extent as Wallabies first five-eighth Quade Cooper is when playing.

"I know the Chiefs, on a five-man defence, they put him out wide, second to last defender," Kiss said.

"But they (the All Blacks) didn't do that (in the World Cup), he stayed in the near channel so I think they'll probably stick to what the All Blacks do and keep him in the close channel because they'll back him in defence."

Cruden will start his third test in 11 appearances for the All Blacks, and will be crucial to the home team's chances, especially after Dan Carter figured so prominently in the second test.

Carter struck the winning drop goal in the final minute in Christchurch, but wasn't selected after a hamstring complaint scratched him from the team to play in Hamilton.

Cruden has gone from strength to strength this season with the Chiefs, but Kiss felt Ireland could manipulate how he played his game.

"I think if we can do the right things in terms of the space that we give him,  and if we want to give him more space or less space depending on how we want to approach it, I think that's the key," he said.
 
Ireland said that Cruden was a very dangerous prospect earlier in the week, but it has been interesting to note there has been more confidence in how the tourists have talked about the All Blacks playmaker as the countdown to the third Steinlager Series test has continued.

"It's important to understand what his strengths are and areas that might challenge him a little bit, and we've gone through some footage for sure," Kiss said.