Ask Kamo

Former All Black Ian Jones answers your Super 15 questions

Ask Kamo: All Blacks too proud to risk being complacent

6 comments
All Blacks 1st-five Daniel Carter in action against Ireland.  Photo / NZ Herald.
All Blacks 1st-five Daniel Carter in action against Ireland. Photo / NZ Herald.

Hi Kamo,

I know a lot of credit has to go to the Irish on Saturday, but that looked like an All Black team that expected to win before it got on the field. Do you think they were complacent and will that change in Hamilton?

Kevin, Cambridge

Kevin, you are spot on in giving a lot of credit to the Irish for the way they played last Saturday night or, maybe more importantly, how they stopped the All Blacks from dictating the terms of the game. I felt the All Blacks got sucked into playing a wet-weather brand of football on a pitch that was in good condition, against an opposition that knew how to play it tight.

The physicality the Irish brought to the game was really impressive, wrapping defenders around our ball carriers, therefore slowing down our momentum and delivery of quick ball to the backs, which was tactically very sound. This will be a big eye-opener for a number of our young All Blacks who haven't encountered this style of play before and I hope they can take the positive of dominating territory in the last three minutes of the match - where they ground it out and secured the win.

As for complacency? I don't think so. The All Blacks are proud of their undefeated record against Ireland and Richie wouldn't let his troops trip up on his home patch.

What will happen in Hamilton? Let's get physical and front up.

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the opportunity to ask a question. I don't want to be negative, but I can't see what the point was in picking Ali Williams. I wish him no ill now he has got a new injury but it seemed like a strange selection at the time and Christchurch proved it. Do you think he will play for the All Blacks again and how do you think he will be remembered as an All Black?

Andy T, Hastings

Andy, it's hard to speculate on Ali's career from here as the guy has shown on more than one occasion a huge desire to overcome adversity and work his way back into the All Blacks, which says a lot about the man and why he is so highly regarded within this team.

He is there for his experience - and let's never underestimate that - and in a mentoring role for our other young locks who are just starting out in the international game. Whatever happens to Ali from here, I think he will be remembered as a passionate player who wore his heart on his sleeve. He dominated during the 2005 Lions tour to become the best lock in world rugby. His commitment to chasing his dream has been inspirational and he really has enhanced the legacy of the All Black No5 jersey.

I wish him well.

- NZ Herald

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