Heading into the Rugby World Cup, there were questions raised about the best way to handle a rush defence.

Now, the World Cup has become a spectacle of how to do exactly that.

From the All Blacks' kicking display against the Springboks to Fiji's free running performance against Wales, the puzzle of rush defences has seemingly been solved.

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For former All Blacks No 10 Stephen Donald, that comes as a relief.


"It's just highlighted that yes you can have the rush defence and all the rest of it, but I think all of a sudden the attack coaches or whoever it is that's doing it for these teams has come up with plans to beat it which is great," Donald told the Radio Sport Breakfast.

"We don't just want to see suffocating defence win a World Cup, so I think the attack side of things has been brilliant."

The All Blacks, who had been susceptible to rush defences in the lead up to the World Cup, go into their quarterfinal match this weekend against Ireland having shown they've learnt how to overcome the pressure.

By the time Saturday night's game rolls around it will have been just shy of two weeks since the All Blacks' last match, after their scheduled pool game against Italy was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.

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While some have shared concerns that the break might be too long, Donald said it wouldn't hurt the All Blacks in any way.

"I think the rest is probably a little blessing to be fair. Brodie (Retallick) was probably the only one who needed that other game, rally. But knowing Brodie and his fitness levels, it won't be for fitness that he needed that game. He would have just wanted another game to have a decent hit out.

"The whole 10 or 15 days to prepare for a quarter-final isn't a bad thing."


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