Sharpening of attack a key focus against Italy - Mooar

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Brad Mooar, the side's attack coach, said after the team arrived in Rome on Monday (NZT), the coaching group was delighted with the effort against Wales. There had been some stunning play that was because the group had prepared very well in the week leading into the game.

 

"You could sense the detail was good, the focus, the energy and the enjoyment that's been there all along, was there, he said.

 

There was an extra incentive to perform well and mark Beauden Barrett's 100th Test with a good performance.

 

"From an attack perspective, we were really happy with a lot of it. It was built around some power and precision and patience early on, which resulted in some outstanding tries later in the game as well, which is a testament to the effort of the bench.

 

"They came on and made a really big impact which is superb. So we're happy with that, but that's last night and we've got to make sure we do it again," he said.

 

Wing Sevu Reece had been dynamic in a run-on role - something he had not done a lot before.

 

"That try he scored was special for a number of reasons: a quick lineout, effectively a counterattack, a beautiful soft touch in the kick from Jordie and then Sevu touching the ball three times in that short space, and one of the times he was on the ground.

 

 

"You generally find if you touch the ball twice in a movement the team will score, and if you touch it three times you'll score, so he was outstanding."

 

Looking at the midfield, Mooar said he was happy with the work rate and the different styles and options available to the selectors.

 

"The breakdown stuff that Alby [Anton Lienert-Brown] does under pressure and the calmness, the beautiful power and pace of Rieko [Ioane], and Dave [Havili] and Quinn Tupaea both doing a superb job at 12 [second five-eighths].  I'm sure we'll still see everyone having a crack before the end of the tour, so great variety in there."

 

Mooar said he expected former All Blacks fullback Kieran Crowley would be keen to get his tenure as Italy's head coach underway at the weekend.

 

"It's a game we're really looking forward to, it's great to be in Rome. We're hopeful we'll be able to get out and about in our own bubble and see some sights," he said.

 

The side would maintain their Covid bubble for the remainder of the tour because there was so much at stake protecting themselves, and the games, he said.

 

Mooar said he felt as they looked towards the last three weeks of their international season, the squad was in a healthy place.

 

"We're more or less selecting from a fully fit squad so the competition is superb and that creates the performance we are looking for at the end of the week because the guys put each other under pressure for selection but also then help each other prepare really well," he said.

 

"It's a really deep squad, people have fitted in superbly. The group is doing a great job on this tour of switching on and switching off."

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