Breakdown clash looms large in opening Bledisoe Cup Test

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Lock Scott Barrett said they also liked to utilise the physicality of their ball carriers, and, as a tight forward, it was an exciting challenge.


The breakdown was always front and centre in pre-Test considerations, and different interpretations occurred in rugby. Referees had different views of what they wanted at the breakdown, and how they wanted to referee, he said.


"It's part of being a rugby player. Early on in the game you have to get an indication of how the game is going to be refereed at the breakdown. The team that adapts the quickest to that and gets on with it often comes out on top."


There was a difference between Super Rugby and Test refereeing, where there were more outside controllers.


"Nothing too much changes. If there is anything they are currently hot on our coaches might teach us some habits at the breakdown on what to look for in our decision-making to help us."


Fullback Jordie Barrett said while a few days' break after their 53-3 win over Argentina was nice, the feeling in the All Blacks camp was one of wanting to keep the ball rolling to be ready for an Australia team that was hurting after its loss to South Africa.



Australia would present something different to Argentina and South Africa. The nature of the Rugby Championship was that you had to prepare, learn quickly and then roll on to another international team.


"It's the teams that can adapt and learn the quickest, and execute in a weekend, that go the best, so we're learning a little bit. It's only the start of the week so we'll learn a lot more as the week goes on."


One of the lessons from their loss in the first Argentine Test was that the All Blacks needed to be able to cope if a side offered something different to how they had played their previous game.


"We learned we probably need to make those shifts during the game and try and execute that, not a week later.


"There'll be trends that we are looking to test Australia with through their defence but if they present something completely different that we haven't planned for, we have got to be able to adapt on the run and try and come up with a plan during the game so it doesn't take a week later."


Having sampled some AFL finals action on Friday, he said it didn't matter that the All Blacks were slipping under the radar in an Aussie Rules mad city. The All Blacks had a job to do and needed to prepare accordingly.


"There's an Australian side that hasn't had a taste of Bledisloe in a long time, so if we are short of our mark, in terms of preparation, we just open ourselves up, so we are going to nail each day this week."


Australian wing Marika Koroibete had been in good form for a long time, and as a quality Test player, he performed consistently every week.


"They've got Marika and threats all across that backline so we've got a serious job on our hands."


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