Eden Park challenge ahead for All Blacks' pack

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Faced with having to deal with the onslaught that resulted in a record 47-26 win for the Australians, it was only afterwards that Cane and others were aware they were on the end of dubious tactics that went unchecked by the refereeing team.

Viewing game footage had clarified why the All Blacks had been unable to have an effect at the breakdown.


"There were times when you get over the ball and you feel like you almost know 'I'm in a good position here' and then for whatever reason you get taken off it. 

"Sometimes it's because guys come blatantly in through the side and sometimes it's those neck rolls. 

"To be honest. I don't know if there's much you can do during the game. If you notice it and bring it up with the skipper he can try and bring it to their [the referees'] attention," he said.

Cane said it was another area of the game where good technique was required.

At the 2015 World Cup there had been a real clampdown on it [neck rolling], it was taken very seriously but it was just one of those areas of the game where they focus on one area while other areas seemed to slip off but he said he would like to see it ruled on.

In Cane's case that is especially meaningful having recovered from a broken neck suffered last year against South Africa.

But in looking at the game overall he said, "The honest facts we knew but which no one likes to hear, we got beaten up in key areas and when a team shows up like that you can only put it down to a little bit more intent and attitude."
Cane said the All Blacks put in a lot of physical preparation during the week but there was a certain amount of mental preparation that was necessary to do to get in the headspace to do whatever it took.

"We've got to make sure we have that come Saturday," he said.

All the criticism in the world from past All Blacks and coaches wasn't necessary because the players knew what was required.

"Any successful All Blacks team has a physical, dominating forward pack. We know we can deliver it but we were below par on Saturday," he said.

Cane said he didn't feel anything was lacking during the warm-ups but he said if it [attitude] wasn't there when the first whistle sounded it was hard to make changes during a game.

Cane said they knew if they didn't have their performance together for Saturday they would not retain the Bledisloe Cup, and their goal was to put in a performance they were proud of.

Cane said the issues around Scott Barrett's sending off were the result of changes to the laws with player safety in mind but the important thing was that the laws were applied consistently. 

He felt at times the players were so closely involved in the game they didn't have the chance to sit back and look what difference the laws had made but he did feel the changes had made the game safer than it was five years ago.

Cane said the red card had been timely, just before halftime, as it allowed them time to work out different strategies to try and cope, especially winning their own lineout ball without one of their jumpers.

"They carried the ball really strongly and for us we need to make sure we're tackling low and tackling hard and driving them backwards so they can't get momentum there. We'll be more urgent around the breakdown so we clean and pass the ball so it is not so much of a scramble."

Choosing the moments when to carry the ball hard and direct or when to move the ball into space were also important, he said.


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