Don't call them the All Blacks. Think of them as New Zealand - a little country at the bottom of the world.

That's one of seven strategies former England player Stuart Barnes believes will help rivals beat the world champions at the Rugby World Cup.

Barnes, a former first five-eighth who is now a rugby journalist, wrote a column in The Times about how to beat the All Blacks at the 2019 World Cup.

"Believe it is possible," he urged. "Stop calling them the bloody All Blacks. I know this isn't original but it is important.

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"Your team may match them for speed, skill, strength, fitness and a furious determination to be the best but if your players bed down the night before and think 'All Blacks', all the ability in the world won't count against rugby's darkest of auras. That deep-seated self-belief is crucial.

"The lack of it is an All Black weapon that self-destructs in opponents' faces. New Zealand have an astounding win rate but forget history. In 2017, New Zealand lost twice; ditto last season. Two defeats in 2019 and chances are they won't be winning the World Cup. They've already lost one."

Kieran Read of the All Blacks performs the haka ahead of the rugby Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Tonga. Photo / Hannah Peters.
Kieran Read of the All Blacks performs the haka ahead of the rugby Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Tonga. Photo / Hannah Peters.

His other strategies are...

Defend ferociously…

...which is as much about a system as attitude. New Zealand were scoring at record breaking pace against South Africa, but new coach Rassie Erasmus changed all that with a rush defence replacing the drift style. There are risks associated with that style, but they are worth taking. Sonny Bill Williams can be a blunderer and Beauden Barrett looks a mere mortal when they are robbed of a split second.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

Contest the set piece

Get arms up in the lineout, and use any technique – legal or illegal – to ruin the foundations of their scrum. Australia's aggression in these areas paid huge dividends in Perth.

Kick the ball to row Z

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To stop quick throw ins which allow New Zealand to break up the game. Sacrifice distance for the ability to re-set the defence and slow the game down.

Ardie Savea of the All Blacks perform the Haka during the 2019 Bledisloe Cup test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Wallabies. Photo / Photosport.co.nz
Ardie Savea of the All Blacks perform the Haka during the 2019 Bledisloe Cup test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Wallabies. Photo / Photosport.co.nz

Don't be afraid to concede penalties

Barrett is more likely to miss shots at goal than most test kickers. And even if New Zealand are landing the goals, penalties take the pace out of the game and forc New Zealand to receive a kick-off deep in their own territory is often a good result. New Zealand, of all teams, are aware of the virtue of the cynical three-point concession.

Attack the fringes

They are vulnerable in these areas, at set pieces and breakdowns. It forces New Zealand's wide defenders in, and leaves space out wide. England did this well initially at Twickenham last year.

Go the full 80 minutes

New Zealand are rarely out. They get great impact off the bench. A prime example came in Pretoria last year. South Africa and Wales have advanced in this area, and England coach Eddie Jones is obsessed with his finishers. The knockout games could well be decided in the final 10 minutes.