All Blacks must improve basics: Jerome Kaino
June 9, 2014
New Zealand 20-15 England (video available only in Australia)
The All Blacks must go back to the basics as they prepare for the second Test against England in Dunedin, Jerome Kaino says.
New Zealand won 20-15 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, when they dropped passes, spilled bombs and they felt the heat applied by England at scrum time before scraping through via centre Conrad Smith's late try.
Kaino says they did not do the basics well enough.
"We kept dropping the ball and they seemed to find opportunities where they could attack us," Kaino said after his first Test appearance since the 2011 Rugby World Cup final at the same ground.
"We just need to be solid at set-piece, hold on to the ball, build phases and put them under pressure."
Kaino gave credit to the performance of an England side missing several front-line players, who were rested after their late arrival in New Zealand.
"At times it was a bit scrappy, but it's hard to get clean ball when the scrum is moving around and going backwards," he said. "Yes, they put us under pressure at set-piece."
Aaron Smith, meanwhile, reiterated All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's post-match assessment that players' minds were "cluttered" because of the amount of information digested in week one of a Test preparation.
"We all came in from our Super Rugby teams and you get hit with the whole new game plan and you're trying to get the moves in," Smith said. "It is a lot, and I guess that showed at times. You can't do what you do just naturally because you're maybe thinking about other things."
Smith said the All Blacks had shown glimpses of their attacking potential, which boded well for the second Test under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.
"Another week together, it's going to look good, and obviously a dry ball in Dunedin - there's no excuses," he said.
Steve Hansen expects a special series%]
Hansen described what unfolded at Eden Park as a typical opening Test of the year. He said everyone looked for the All Blacks to be perfect from the get-go, and the players probably had the same expectation of themselves as well, "but sometimes that's not the reality and we struggled at times with our skill execution".
"Usually that's an indicator that we've got cluttered minds," Hansen said. "Then, if we have cluttered minds, it's probably because we've made them cluttered through the week giving them too much to do."
Hansen says that was necessary when getting players from five franchises together.
"I think, another six days, we will step up a few more levels and be in a better position to really gauge where we're at."
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