What the All Blacks need to work on

Kris Shannon looks at four areas All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will need to address following his side's shock defeat to Ireland.

1) Discipline

The most glaring area of deficiency to emerge from the defeat. While Ireland certainly deserved their victory, they received a huge helping hand from an opponent eager to afford them as many extra opportunities as possible. It wasn't just the potentially pivotal yellow card shown to Joe Moody in the early stages - the All Blacks heard the referee's whistle throughout the game and the lopsided final penalty count of 12-4 was a match-winning margin.

Watch: Irish fans react to historic win

Video

2) Skill execution

After a winning streak that was built on a peerless ability to execute in attack, the All Blacks' basic skills were finally found wanting.

The 18 turnovers they coughed up certainly stand out and it was only a brief stretch in the second half, when they threatened to mount a comeback and once more break Irish hearts, that the All Blacks played to the best of their abilities. Credit Irish pressure for that, but there were no excuses for some of the dropped balls.

Watch: Read and Hansen react to Ireland defeat

Video

3) Finding a midfield

In part, this won't be too difficult, with Anton Lienert-Brown set to be fielded alongside Malakai Fekitoa next week. But the twin loss of Ryan Crotty (hamstring) and George Moala (elbow) -both likely for the tour - will still provide a true test of the All Blacks' much-vaunted depth. A replacement will surely be required, given only the inexperienced option of Rieko Ioane exists elsewhere in the squad, and Seta Tamanivalu, who is already in Europe with the Barbarians, is also an option.

Best pics: Ireland beat All Blacks

Video

4) Finding some locks

Another position, another headache. But, again, this shouldn't be too tough to solve. Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock were sorely missed against the Irish, allowed to dominate at lineout time and enjoy an advantage in the collision, but both should be in a position to return sooner rather than later. Retallick may play in Rome, Whitelock possibly not, but one thing is for certain: the combination of Patrick Tuipulotu and Jerome Kaino won't be seen again in a hurry.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 08 Dec 2016 10:32:25 Processing Time: 862ms