Penalty count reduction a focus for All Blacks

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It was penalties conceded that allowed Australia to mount such a strong finish to the first Test. They came back from 8-33 down with three tries in the final quarter to finish 25-33 down.

 

Flanker Dalton Papalii, who admitted frustration that he and his fellow loose forwards had not been able to play more of their attacking game, was looking for a more cohesive showing on Saturday.

 

Doing better in the second Test would involve having more ball in hand, a style he enjoyed playing.

 

"We're not just defenders, we're all attackers as well. I'd like to think I'm a bit of an attacker and, hopefully, I get the chance to show that, along with the other loose forwards."

 

"As a loose trio, it felt like we did our jobs, but it was just the way of the game that we didn't really get involved. We'll be trying to get a lot more involved this week," he said.

 

On the wrong side of an 18-9 penalty count, the All Blacks are keen to shut off that avenue to the ball for the Australians.

 

"That's not All Blacks rugby we played the last 20 minutes. In our minds we'd won the game. They came back and we started giving away stupid penalties. The game hasn't changed, we've just got to be hard on ourselves and be more disciplined," he said.

 

 

"In that first half we just couldn't get into the game," he said.

 

"It was one of those halves where we started to roll then we'd stop again. We're trying to find the balance of if we're not involved we're still sticking to the system.

 

The intensity of the first Test effort was enough for Papalii to register surprise that he had made as many tackles as he did in the game.

 

"After the game, I thought I'd made eight or nine tackles, but some of the boys told me I'd made 15. I'll keep doing that if we keep winning, but I didn't realise it was that high," he said.

 

Having injured skipper Sam Cane working with the side while recovering from pectoral surgery was a bonus.

 

"He's a big help to me. Anything I need, he's there. The good thing about the loose trio is it's a competitive environment, but it's a healthy one," he said.

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