All Blacks ‘paid for their lack of another plan’ – British rugby scribe sticks boot into Steve Hansen’s side

The All Blacks coach conceded Ireland are the front runners for the cup. Source: 1 NEWS

(TVNZ) – European rugby writer and famed All Blacks critic Stephen Jones hasn’t waited long to stick the boot into Steve Hansen’s side, in the wake of yesterday’s 16-9 defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

In an inspired performance from Joe Schmidt’s Ireland, the All Blacks were made to look ordinary, kept try-less for the first time since last year’s defeat to the British and Irish Lions and raising questions over Hansen’s side heading into the 2019 World Cup.

¬†Writing for the¬†Sunday Times, Jones criticised the All Blacks’ lack of direction in the first half, before rallying when it was too late.
“It was a wonderful, wonderful contest, and a wonderful win for Ireland in a match in which the quality and pace seemed to on a different level to the raft of other Test matches of late,” he wrote.

“Ireland’s physicality, defence, scrum and self-belief were of a sensationally high order, for a long time they imposed themselves on New Zealand, forcing the likes of Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie to shuffle sideways.”

“New Zealand’s morale never wavered but for a long time they paid for their lack of another plan.

“They ran and handed and they were rapid but they had no other dimension, no change of pack, just raw pace.”

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