All Blacks focus on breakdown ahead of Hamilton Test

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All Blacks assistant coach Brad Mooar said on Sunday in Dunedin there had already been plenty of talk about the breakdown after Saturday's 57-23 win by the All Blacks.

 

But while the discussion centred on the physicality the Fijians managed, Mooar said the All Blacks were also physical.

 

He felt most concerns were about winning the race to the breakdown.

 

"If I was playing us, I'd be pigging into that space as well, slowing that type of ball down and not giving us that quick ball to play off and show our skill set," he said.

 

"I think it's more about just winning the race, beating the opposition to the breakdown, making good decisions and execution as a ball carrier, supporters' anticipation, and getting into that breakdown," he said.

 

 

The Fijians showed the benefit of their playing in Europe, and their outstanding athleticism and good condition made them strong opponents.

 

"They're playing high-level footy, and they're playing in a Test match. So, they're going to bring that physicality and intent, as do we. I'm sure they're nursing some bruised bodies as well.

 

"I'm sure they're looking forward to going again in Hamilton," he said.

 

The same applied to the All Blacks who knew that all their opponents lifted their game.

 

Mooar confirmed prop Aidan Ross would join the side as cover for Karl Tu'inukuafe, who had a shoulder injury. Fullback Damian McKenzie had been treated for a finger knuckle dislocation while centre Anton Lienert-Brown, flanker Ardie Savea and lock Tupou Vaa'i were recovering from recent injuries.

 

Each had been more involved in training during the week. With Dalton Papalii still out with a calf injury, Savea's availability will be a boost in Hamilton.

 

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