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Five ‘dented’ things All Blacks in South Africa need to fix

All Blacks coach Ian Foster. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

That All Black are preparing for world champions Springboks in South Africa, with New Zealand head coach Ian Foster under intense pressure to end his poor form after four defeats in their last five games.

AFP looks at five things the All Blacks need to fix in their opening Rugby Championship game against the Springboks in Mbombela on August 7.

Stop opposing drives

The All Blacks’ new forward coach Jason Ryan saw the home side be beaten by the Irish mob in their home series loss earlier this month and admitted what he witnessed as New Zealand pride was “marred”. .

The Irish made an important early attempt with a driving mouth in winning the crucial third Test in Wellington, which Ryan said must not be repeated in South Africa.

“We need to stop Mauls and also improve our contact area,” Ryan told reporters in Wellington before the All Blacks flew to South Africa.

“The all black pack got dented and we talked about it in the forward meeting, we didn’t hide anything and were really honest about what we need to be.”

Score first

Ireland became the first team to score in all three Test matches against New Zealand.

The All Blacks can’t afford another slow start for the Springboks to take an early lead in Mbombela.

Foster admitted it was a point the All Blacks had highlighted internally, but the error was repeated against the Irish on consecutive Saturdays.

“For some reason we are not that calm, especially defensively. It’s more on defense where we get restless early on, we let through a few holes,” Foster said.

These holes need to be closed in South Africa.

Create more “big moments”

Beauden Barrett is a world-class playmaker, but the All Blacks star can’t carry his side alone and needs the support of his teammates in attack.

In Ardie Savea, Akira Ioane and Will Jordan, the All Blacks have players who can break through any defense and create chances, but the team needs to capitalize on them.

“We don’t get enough big moments right,” Foster said.

“We have great faith in many of the solutions we have, but we need to get better at implementing them.

“There were a couple of times after line breaks where we couldn’t get our support on the man fast enough. Those moments hurt.”

Start winning again

Simply put, Foster’s record of 16 wins, one draw and seven losses is poor for an All Blacks coach.

His situation could become untenable if his team lose both of their opening Rugby Championship games in South Africa, but he says he has no intention of retiring.

“I don’t think about that. I’m thinking about just doing my best in my role.”

There is no greater test in world rugby than facing the Springboks at height and Foster relishes the challenge.

“We go into the rugby championship to try and win. No All Blacks team wants to go over [lose]. I think up to 10 guys in the squad have never been to South Africa. It’s a unique situation for this group but wow what a great opportunity.”

Learn their lessons

Too many dropped passes, missed tackles and a slow start cost the All Blacks dearly against the Irish.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane – who experts say should be replaced – insists his team must take those lessons into the Tests against the Springboks.

“The only good thing that can come of this is that we use it as fuel to get better. If we don’t learn, don’t use the experience of this series, then it’s wasted.

“When we go back-to-back with the good stuff, we look spick and span, but too often we don’t support it.”

Five ‘dented’ things All Blacks in South Africa need to fix

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