The All Blacks went out there last night with too much of a "she'll be right" attitude. They looked like they thought it'd be a cakewalk (just as I did). It resulted in a soft approach.
The Irish did their homework and deserve a big tick. The credit deserves to go to their coaching staff, especially the forwards coach, former All Black Greg Feek.
They were atrocious last week but apart from a shambles of a first scrum they earned parity as the match went on.
It was more of a case of downhill for the All Blacks. Individuals need to take responsibility.
They didn't fire. They stood off too much.
I really had difficulty with the replacements policy. Why bring Piri Weepu and Ali Williams on as impact players when they did so little of it?
The first pass Dan Carter received from Weepu for a drop goal was bloody awful. Why did Aaron Smith get replaced? Weepu walked when he came on. Ben Franks would've been a better swap at nine. Having said that Owen Franks shouldn't have been replaced by his brother. You should only replace someone if you think they're knackered and the new man is going to be better. The same goes for Williams and Brodie Retallick. Retallick was twice as good as last week.
The reality is Weepu and Williams have had their day. They were great players at times but it's time to move on and bring in someone new.
The All Blacks' individuals and coaches need to do some soul searching. Playing test rugby you can't afford to be ineffective. They were experienced subs but had little decent impact.
I thought Israel Dagg was hard done by with his sin-binning. The ref judged it on what he saw without the advantage of a replay. It didn't look as bad on second view.
Sam Cane warmed to the task at openside when Richie McCaw moved to No8 in the second half for Kieran Read. The first five minutes he didn't do much, then he warmed to the task which is hard for a young fella in a team also hindered by Adam Thomson getting slightly injured.
I also bumped into a former All Black fullback coming out of the ground and he was wondering why Sonny Bill Williams insisted on passing flat rather than behind him just to make sure it goes into the hands. The All Blacks dodged a bullet in this test and they'll be nowhere near as complacent next time.