Gregor Paul

Gregor Paul is the Herald on Sunday's rugby writer

Rugby: All Blacks back indoors

Indoor stadiums and the All Blacks have been a good mix apart from that one rather tragic occasion five years ago in Cardiff where they endured an unfortunate defeat at an unfortunate time.

Technically, though, that defeat doesn't blemish their record in enclosed facilities as the roof wasn't shut that night in Cardiff meaning the All Blacks can just about claim a flawless record indoors.

It's doubtful, even in this world of hyper-detailed analysis that the All Blacks have spent any time looking at why they have historically done well on grounds that have roofs: the answer is pretty obvious - dry ball and a fast track.

Potentially the Forsyth Barr Stadium could become more of a fortress than Carisbrook. The new arena lacks what could euphemistically be described as the 'old world charm' of Carisbrook - a particular rustic flavour, which combined with the notoriously difficult elements could settle an opposition side quite drastically.

But what the new venue can counter that by being guaranteed to provide an environment in which the All Blacks will thrive.

High tempo rugby is their thing and bar the third test against Ireland, they have been dying to cut loose all season.

So far, though, passes haven't stuck; decisions have been poor at precisely the time they can't afford to be and the clinical edge has been missing.

Under the roof, all that could come right and the South Africans, already down on confidence, could be run off their feet.

They have picked a side that is in Dunedin to kick and chase, but All Black skipper Richie McCaw is adamant that the stadium can't be left to do the work for his side and nor is he so sure the South Africans don't pose a threat with ball in hand.

"To not have to worry about the elements is great but [the game] still comes down to individuals making the right decisions and doing things that you expect anyone to be able to do," said McCaw.

"The difference is I suppose in a test it is under pressure and that is what we have get to right. Being able to build the pressure on the opposition rather than ourselves and we were guilty of that last week in the first half.

"We have to get that right - we have talked about that. They [South Africans] kick it a bit but they are pretty good at chasing it and if you give them the ball at the right end of the field - make some mistakes - then they have guys that will make us pay."

The sub-text all week has been about improving the accuracy and combining it with the intensity and tempo that has been present in every test this year. If the All Blacks can get both bits right, the Springboks could be in for a long night.

The Australians were hit like that at Melbourne's Telstra Dome in 2010 and were lucky to only leak 48 points in the end. With Drew Mitchell having been sent off the All Blacks ran riot - producing what was breathtaking rugby at times.

- Herald on Sunday

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