If the All Blacks can ignite their rocket shoes on Saturday night they will relish watching Andy Farrell sweat in the Tokyo Stadium stands.
The mercury might have dropped in Japan’s capital city over the last week, the sticky humidity has been replaced by cooler overcast days, but the All Blacks can cause Ireland defence coach Farrell to overheat if they can retain the ball for multiple phases during during the World Cup quarterfinal in Tokyo.
During his playing days Farrell lit up the rugby league fields in Britain, but many New Zealand rugby fans know of him as the defence guru who has kept the All Blacks try-less twice in two years.
Farrell, as the defence coach for the British and Irish Lions in 2017, empowered the visitors to shut down the All Blacks’ ball carriers in the second test in Wellington and last year he provided Ireland with a scheme that ensured the visitors didn’t cross their line in the 16-9 loss in Dublin.
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Now we wait to see how the All Blacks will respond.
Coach Steve Hansen can’t be accused of not being bold for this knockout game. His selections reflect that.
Hooker Codie Taylor acknowledged Farrell’s influence when discussing the Lions tour and the defeat in Dublin, but also noted the All Blacks haven’t been idle in terms of finding ways to break down their defence.
Fans have bounced back from Ireland’s shock loss to Japan and believe their team can upset the All Blacks.
“I think every team is doing it now, you can see that at this World Cup,” Taylor said.
“Even looking back four years ago, everyone was about getting the right numbers before actually coming forward.
“Now you see it’s about applying pressure to the attack so that you pressure their skill sets. Ireland are a great team at that. Andy was a part of the Lions series and I suppose that was the first time that they had really seen that it works and I think Ireland will look at doing that again.”
Hansen has been lauded since his high voltage attacking game was unleashed in the pool games against South Africa, Canada and Namibia and the All Blacks are expected to serve up more of the same against Ireland.
A strength of the team is the ability put differences, including religion, aside to come together.
Taylor, who will play his 49th test in Tokyo, suits this aspect of the game; while not shy of working in the tight, he can operate in a similar mound to a loose forward, by using his leg drive and offloads to feed support runners.
Although the All Blacks know what the basic framework of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt’s game plan will be, they have to be alert for his “specials”, the clever moves that can embarrass dozy defensive lines.
Ireland will try to starve the All Blacks of possession, and will kick contestables to get the ball back.
Taylor explained the All Blacks know what’s required to hit back – as much with the ball, as without.
“Being patient and everyone being alive,” Taylor said. “You can’t afford to switch off when you are on attack, as much as you can’t on D.
The All Blacks coach said he would enjoy his horse’s run in the Everest race on Saturday for what it is.
“You have just to make sure are always on for those opportunities that will come, eventually, if you do it right. I suppose that is the way we have to look at it.”
Not surprisingly, the All Blacks have reviewed the loss in Dublin this week. They know they could have won it, and captain Kieran Read’s inability to hold the ball with open space in front of him proved a turning point.
So, too, did the well-executed try by wing Jacob Stockdale off a set play.
“We never felt like we were out of it,” Taylor noted.
Steve Hansen’s 15-year association with the All Blacks could be over in days potentially but he’s still refusing to acknowledge any emotion about the fast approaching finish line.
“We definitely felt like we absorbed a lot and against an Irish team that are really good at holding the ball.”
The All Blacks will want to dictate terms in Tokyo, and know it will be impossible to not have to defend.
“Looking back we just absorbed but we didn’t get any chance to apply any pressure,” Taylor said in reference to the loss in Dublin. “They (Ireland) relished that, and managed to score a pretty amazing try at the back end of that second half.
“We just have to be ready and focused out there on the field.”
Source link : https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup/rwc-2019-japan/116707303/all-blacks-v-ireland-codie-taylor-reveals-dublin-loss-review-ahead-of-rugby-world-cup-quarterfinal
Publish date : 2019-10-18 18:00:00