Memories of 2012 series loom large for the All Blacks

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Ten years ago, under similar circumstances of trying to keep a series alive, it took a late Dan Carter dropped goal at Christchurch Stadium to hold Ireland out 22-19.


First five-eighths Beauden Barrett said it had been a ding-dong battle on a freezing night and although that wasn't in prospect under the roof in Dunedin, the one thing they could be assured of was that Ireland would respond, and the All Blacks would have to as well.


"As expected, we needed to really put our bodies on the line and show that physical intent against the Irish because, learning from our last Test match in Ireland against them, they showed us an intent that we needed to match or be better than this time around.


"So, the first Test match of the year, we were really up for it and there was no holding back out there," he said.


It was guaranteed it would be a high tempo game at Forsyth Barr Stadium for the second Test.


"We want to take our game to another level, we've already identified many areas to get better and I think that's encouraging knowing we're playing down here," he said.


The All Blacks had missed opportunities in Auckland and they wanted to improve on their performance in Dunedin, just as Ireland would be looking to lift their game.


"I'd expect them to bounce back, they are such a proud side, and they'll raise their intent this week because I guess it is do-or-die for the series is on the line this weekend. We know they're coming, and we also need to rise as well.

 

 

"There's a lot to learn about the game itself and we're doing that in these couple of days and getting prepared for another brutal Test match."


Should Ireland's first five-eighths Johnny Sexton be able to play it would be up to the All Blacks sorting their defensive game, and the breakdown.


"We've seen areas we need to work on in our defence, putting them under more pressure. That will not give him the dinner suit that he likes to play in. It's on us to improve in that area but there's also a lot of other areas we're looking to be better in."


Barrett said part of the reason for the lack of the usual rust in the side during its first outing was not being cluttered with new details in their game plan.

Having Josh Goodhue, David Havili and Will Jordan back from their Covid isolation gave the side more depth in their preparation options ahead of the Dunedin game.


Barrett said the Auckland performance was a stake in the ground.


“What I’ve learned from my own game is I missed a couple of opportunities in our phase and a lot of it is to do with out connection and seeing the same pictures and getting that alignment.


“Hopefully, if I get the opportunity this week it’ll be taking those, and not sitting here on a Monday reviewing and kicking myself for missing a couple of opportunities,” he said.

 

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