All Blacks aim to deny Ireland forward momentum - Retallick

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Lock Brodie Retallick who will be playing Ireland for the eighth time, having been on the losing side once, said when playing Ireland it was their ability to build momentum among their forwards that made them harder to handle.

That was seen in the first Test when, in the second half, their ball carriers got going to put the All Blacks under a lot of pressure on their goal-line.

“We managed [to hold them], through some individual brilliance, and a couple of knock-ons and loose carries. 

“But when they get their momentum, and their forwards are carrying on top of the gain-line, you need to be able to stop them. Because once that happens, you have got Jonny and the backs out there, and they throw it out the back and start picking on your forwards that turn in.

“If we give them too much momentum, that’s where they get their game going,” he said. 

Dalton Papalii was named on the blindside flank and said while he hadn’t played on the blindside too often this year, not a lot changed for him, mentally or physically. His role around the field was a little different,but he was looking forward to the challenge.

Each of the three loose forwards had different roles and he wanted a bit of his flavour to the No6 jersey. He had grown up watching Jerome Kaino and then played alongside him at the Blues. He was keen to create his own flavour in the role.

“It’s a chance for me to leave my stamp in the No6 jersey and leave my mark there,” he said.

Retallick said he would be making the calls in the lineouts, and while that involved a little more work, the role was the same around the field. With Scott Barrett stepping in for the injured Sam Whitelock, and having Patrick Tuipulotu off the bench, they were keeping things simple.

The All Blacks were intentional in attempting to win lineouts towards the back of the line in the first Test, something made easier by having Barrett there. But they would have to lift the loose forwards a little higher to make up for the change.

They would be looking to continue their efforts in lineouts and scrums, he said.

Retallick said working out what Ireland was trying to achieve in their lineouts came down to doing some homework on their Six Nations play, but it was more about finding some cues and getting off the ground fast enough to contest the ball.

Papalii said having Tuipulotu back was a lift in morale. He was a player who, at both the Blues and All Blacks, had looked out for younger players, and Papalii said he had missed him while he was playing in Japan.

Retallick said it was great having Tuipulotu back, he was a massive frame when going forward and would be looking forward to the opportunity.


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