Peak performance the aspiration for the All Blacks

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All Blacks selector Grant Fox told the All Blacks Podcast that fluctuations had been happening a little more than usual recently, and they were keen to address the issue.

 

It was impossible to be at a peak for every Test. While it was the aspiration, it was a tough task mentally, he said.

 

What was important for the All Blacks was to lift their lowest level a few degrees so that their lowest was better.

 

"That's a big lot of work that the coaching group, management group, are thinking about at the moment," he said.

 

Losing to Australia in Brisbane, as happened in the Tri Nations last year, wasn't uncommon for the All Blacks, but in the overall season, they had won the key trophies although there had been some 'grumpiness' about the Argentina loss.

 

In all, he said, 'it was a strange old year'.

While there was a quest for competitive rugby across the world, something that had fans sitting on the front of their seat, there was a cost to that, and it was not always getting the result those fans wanted, Fox said.

 

The All Blacks had enjoyed a sustained period of dominance, but for fans who sat back in their seats with their arms folded knowing the outcome, the game wasn't as competitive, and that is what fans were wanting.

 

Losing to Argentina had been the one regret for the 2020 season. But Fox said while it was disappointing, it was something that was always going to happen one day, and there needed to be an acknowledgement that Argentina had been improving year on year.

 

"If you trace Argentina's recent history, they are at their best at World Cups when they get their best players together for an extended time. They had that outside of a World Cup, even when they hadn't necessarily played a whole lot of rugby, they had some adversity, and they reacted well to it and played well and beat us.

 

"I didn't think it would be in our backyard, or even in Australia, I probably thought it would be in Buenos Aires when I'm not sure, but it was going to happen at some point.

 

"The irony is we won the trophies we played for, we kept the Bledisloe Cup which is a high priority for us outside a World Cup year and we had a great performance in Sydney, and Auckland for that matter," he said.

 

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