There are not many teams in the world that do not try and get their game to the level of New Zealanders.

During the week I saw an interview on ‘The Breakdown’ with Grant Fox, All Black selector.

They only lost against Ireland and the Springboks in 2018.

Fox was clear that although it is a world cup year they still have the KPI to build for the future with preparing for the World Cup in Japan.

If you hear Fox saying that there are key areas in their game that they need to improve, you start asking WHAT?

Then he say the biggest key areas they need to get better in is skills and decision making.

That is just mind-boggling as no other teams can really compare with the skills level the All Blacks team.

There may have been a case for this with the two losses against Ireland and the Springboks but overall that is exactly what is the difference between them and most sides.

When Fox said the two areas they going to focus on will be skills and decision making it sends shivers down my spine.

Fox believe if they can get better in these two aspects of their game they will be a difficult side to beat.

Well Fox you are already a damn difficult side to beat, but he is right if they get even better in that areas, I can not see any team coming close to the All Blacks in the World Cup no matter how much we believe that Wales, England, Ireland are huge treats.

Fox also believe in the two losses that their defence needed to sharpen up. He felt they got too easily frustrated in those two test.

He also believe that a team needs to evolve and if you not, other teams will just outsmart you.

According to research the All Blacks did from 2015 to 2018 they found they made some key improvements in their attack, scrums and defence and he believes that they do not have to change too much form what they have been doing since World Cup 2015.

As a coaching team they believe to take every year and make small changes to stay ahead otherwise you just become predictable.

He did explained that some of these changes worked for them but there was also some that just did not work and they did looked at that Ireland loss and decided to take a few steps back in some aspects of their play.

They will do plenty of simulations this season in develop the two key factors for them of decision making and skill execution.

All I know us if they do get even better in the way they manage their game and develop their skills even more, they will be a total new beast come World Cup which will be interesting to see if the other teams will be able to keep up with them.

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  1. @Jacques Nortier: I had it the other way around – but NZ can get both for the price of one (and we will throw in ex-Bok wundercoach Franco for free as well!).
    I honestly do not know why our skills are so poor – surely this is not from schools all the way up? But basic things like wings that cannot catch a high ball; flyhalves that do not run straight; scrumhalves who takes ages to pass and cannot kick; hookers that cannot throw a ball into a lineout… the list goes on and on.

  2. @Bekke:

    To be honest the New Zealanders are working on skills and decision making from junior phases, what do we do, pick the biggest fatty and give him the ball to run over all the small kids – It still happens in primary school rugby.

    When they get to High School only the selective few get maybe some kind of proper training.

    Our obsession with big fatties have been killing our game in the modern era for years.

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