Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Rugby: Next test - Vito out and Read in doubt

Vivtor Vito has stitches for a cut over his eye. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Vivtor Vito has stitches for a cut over his eye. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The All Black loose forwards copped some dents with Victor Vito out of the second test against Ireland and Kieran Read needing further monitoring.

Vito had stitches for a cut over his eye but has also injured a medial ligament in his knee which will remove him from this week's test in Christchurch.

Coach Steve Hansen said Adam Thomson would come into blindside and there were no thoughts of adding another loose forward to the squad.

No 8 Read was injured late in the test and then after receiving treatment from team doctor Deb Robinson, suddenly jumped up and joined an attack as teammate Israel Dagg scooted past. Legal or not, few know, least of all Read.

"I might have copped a wee head knock," he revealed.

"So I probably just woke up when the ball was on our 50 and when Izzy broke through it was fixed pretty quickly and I got up and carried on."

He had taken a decent hit but was not feeling any ill-effects after the test.

"I think it was a knee, I can't remember it, I was just passing the ball."

But Read could recall the scheme he and Daniel Carter cooked up for a short kickoff with Read claiming the catch and getting to a TMO's width of the tryline.

He also felt the All Blacks needed to clean up their breakdown work for Christchurch and if they did that and were patient with their skills on attack, it would bode well.

The All Blacks had battled to budge the Irish scrum near their line and had been forced to go to alternate ideas. From one, Aaron Smith drifted wide as a decoy for Read and Adam Thomson to combine for the try.

Hansen said he was not thinking about many alterations for the next test.

"The first two tests I think are about establishing ourselves and then if we have the opportunity or a bit of breathing space then we might make one or two changes," Hansen said.

"It would be nice to introduce a couple of other young players into test rugby, whether it's off the bench or starting."

- NZ Herald

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