All Blacks 'were just dumb'
REACTION: Head coach Steve Hansen has lambasted New Zealand’s ‘dumb’ first-half mistakes following the defeat to Ireland.
Absorbing the lessons from their 9-16 loss to Ireland and finishing strongly against Italy in Rome would be on the All Blacks minds this week.
Pushed hard by England and then losing to Ireland, the All Blacks had plenty to work on before heading off on their breaks.
Jacob Stockdale scored the only try early in the second half, as Johnny Sexton (Ireland) and Beauden Barrett kicked three penalties each.
Coach Steve Hansen congratulated Ireland on their win at the post-game press conference and said they had played ‘outstandingly well’.
“They deserved the win, they took the opportunities they got – there wasn’t a lot in the game – they took their one and we just didn’t take ours.
“I thought our discipline in the first half let us down a wee bit, but in saying that, I’m very proud of our team too. They showed a lot of courage and heart and you couldn’t fault the effort, even if the execution wasn’t as good as we’d have liked. The effort was world class and we just got beaten by a better team.
“Some of the penalties in the first half were just dumb. Was that because we made a mistake and then tried to fix it? I’m not sure, but they were avoidable penalties. We’ll give ourselves an uppercut for that and go away and work on it,” he said.
Aspects that would be looked at were the failure to take opportunities and the subsequent poor decision-making.
The New Zealand scrum were being steam-rollered by the Irish and coach Steve Hansen rang the changes only eight minutes after half-time, removing all of his front row.
Hansen said the All Blacks hadn’t suffered much in the last three years and the loss would be useful.
“We’ll go away, we’ve got a game next week so we’ve got to get our feet back on the floor, get back into our work and learn from it,” he said.
Captain Kieran Read said both teams were very physical.
“You saw by the defence from both sides, getting off the line. As Steve said, really it only came down to a few opportunities. They took their one to score and we didn’t.
“It was a tight game. The tough thing is sometimes, particularly in the second half when you can’t get a flow in the game. There were a lot of stoppages which affects the flow and slows the game down. It certainly wasn’t as quick [as a Rugby Championship Test], but it was very physical,” he said.