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Is there more to the All Black loss than just a drop goal?

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It is normally a place the New Zealand media does not find themselves a lot in when they see the All Blacks being beaten at home. With that comes the discussions why and some believe there are more to it than just not taking a drop goal in that final minutes.

Liam Napier from the NZ Herald believe they have bigger worries than just going on about why Barrett or McKenzie did not take a shot at a drop on Saturday.

That being defence.

The All Blacks are admired and sometimes even hated for being so good on attack with flair and the ability to score length-of-the-field tries from turnover possession.

Now the All Blacks have played their last test at home and have some tough test coming up still.

  • Argentina 30th Sept – Buenos Aires
  • Springboks 07th Oct – Pretoria
  • Australia 27 Oct – Nissan Stadium Japan
  • Japan 3 Nov – Tokyo
  • England 10 Nov – London
  • Ireland 17 Nov – Dublin
  • Italy 24 Nov – Rome

It seems that the All Blacks have been exposed now in not able to cope with rush defence.

The All Blacks have now conceded eight tries in two test matches against the Pumas and Springbok. The problem seem to not just be individual defending but also new systems being expose.

Some are worried that the defensive problem the All Blacks have been experiencing of late may be due to Smith’s absence and the clarity he brought to this area.

The All Blacks only made 61 tackles against the Boks and missed 12, The week before they made 176 tackles and missed 30.

“We lost the game because we allowed South Africa to score 36 points and that’s something that we can control as a team,” Hansen said. “It’s a team game.” Hansen said after the test.

The Springboks and Argentina exposed the All Blacks short-side defence.

This happens when a lack of numbers is not identified and conveyed quickly or big men don’t filter round the ruck fast enough, leaving the winger with two players to defend and scrambling to make all-or-nothing jam-in stops.

Switches of play from the breakdown have also caught the All Blacks napping.

Elsewhere the Pumas found success exploiting mismatches where front-rowers were left marking the likes of first five-eighth Nicolas Sanchez.

The feeling from Liam Napier  is the All Blacks possess a group of largely attacking-minded players who must now bring that same enthusiasm to defence.

Napier also points out that the other interesting spinoff is whether the loss to the Boks has any impact on selection plans over the final two rounds of the Rugby Championship.

Traditionally, the All Blacks use the trip to Buenos Aires to give fringe players starting chances, just aside they did in Nelson, before rolling out their full-strength team in South Africa the following week.

Clearly, though, the Pumas are on the rise under Mario Ledesma.

Victory over the Wallabies in Perth offered further proof, and they will now sniff a chance of a maiden win over the All Blacks.

The All Blacks don’t get easily derailed because of a one-off result but Hansen will put a bit more thought on what he do with his team in the next two matches

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  1. First time on Saturday that we did the rush defence under Rassie. Most sides use this now, but you need to be alert for kicks through or scramble quickly if an attacking player break the first line of defence. Key is your inside centre, where De Allende was great for us Saturday. England for example struggle to do this successfully, as their midfield is a bit shaky. Will be interesting to see how we adapt for the last 2 games, possibly without De Allende and stead Le Roux at the back.

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