All Blacks will adapt better in second Test - Savea

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Captain Ardie Savea was aware of several aspects of the game where the All Blacks could improve, including referee liaison when it came to excessive injury hold-ups, scrum issues and maintaining patience in the face of Springbok tactical choices.

 

Savea said the experience in a tight game against South Africa last week had been a great learning curve for him and the leadership team. That was especially about how they navigated the game and how they played versus accumulating points.

 

"So there will be some changes, and we will discuss and think twice about going to the lineout all the time so, like I said, we live and we learn and, hopefully, this week, if those opportunities come up we'll take them," he said.

 

The leadership role had been amazing yet challenging. The more exposure he had as captain, the more comfortable he felt, he said.

 

"I'm just trying to trust and be myself but, honestly, the leaders I have around me, they complement me, and we all complement each other," he said.

 

The scrum would be an area of interest after issues were revealed last week, but the All Blacks were confident they had them sorted.

 

 

"I don't know too much about what's going on in that front row, but I've been next to Nepo [Laulala] and the front row boys, getting some education around it. They've come back and got it sorted. They're going to talk to the ref so, hopefully, it's better than last week," he said.

 

Savea said the key focus had been ensuring they had their game prepared by concentrating on basic skill sets. Their focus had been on themselves. But while they were expecting a repeat of South Africa's kicking game, they were also wary of the unexpected.

 

"We've got plans around that. We've just got to be on our toes as players and as a team, and adapt to what comes," he said.

 

They would also need to be calm around whatever South Africa brought to the game.

 

Savea said he enjoyed playing South Africa because he could test himself against the best players in the world. Physically, it wasn't nice, but it was good to go hard and see who came out on top.

 

He was looking forward to having Luke Jacobson back at No8. He was a player who went hard and was relentless and who didn't stop.

 

"You love playing with fellows like that and having them beside you. I'm looking forward to being able to run alongside him this week," he said.

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