Who should come into the All Blacks starting XV for the third test?
OPINION: The Irish just missed their best chance to beat the All Blacks.
I suspect it will be a very focussed New Zealand team that runs out in Hamilton next Saturday, determined to make amends for their sloppy 22-19 win in Christchurch.
After last week's demolition job at Eden Park this was always going to be a tough fixture for the All Blacks. Psychologically it was a tough assignment to try to repeat that, especially for the group of new players who had enjoyed instant success.
The same could probably be said of the New Zealand management who had such a golden start to their tenure. Test rugby must have seemed like a bit of a cakewalk for the likes of Ian Foster and Aussie McLean.
But the realities of what was in front of them in Christchurch quickly became apparent because the Irish came out with real fire in their bellies.
Last week the media barely mentioned the Irish in their reviews because it was all about how good the All Blacks were. I was guilty of that too. But we quickly found out that this is an Irish side that has a ton of heart.
With the exception of the unpredictable French, I've been very critical of northern hemisphere teams that have turned up here in recent years - many of them have seemed barely interested in being here. So it was pleasing to see a side from the Home Unions come out with such fire. This was a true test and the All Blacks survived it - just.
They will learn some valuable lessons and the first is that they can't stand still with their game, especially in a three test series against any opponent. It's about adding something quickly to what you have already offered, taking your game forward, and constantly evolving.
The All Blacks offered nothing new from last week and they paid the price for that - almost the ultimate price.
But they were also never allowed to play like they did last week because of the clever approach from Ireland.
They had signalled in the buildup to this test that they were going to work on their defensive game, that they weren't going to commit players to the tackles and rucks. With extra numbers in more areas, they were able to blunt the All Blacks' attack.
We also learned a few things about the All Blacks' pack. I've been worried about how we could replace Brad Thorn's experience, professionalism, muscularity and sheer presence. When Jerome Kaino was taken out of the picture that problem intensified. When Kieran Read was forced off at halftime it became a major issue.
New Zealand were often struggling to match the mongrel approach of the Irish, something they had shown in their World Cup boilover against Australia last year.
The biggest loss in Kaino is the combination he provided with Read and Richie McCaw. He's a tight, robust No 6 and Victor Vito and Adam Thomson just don't have that same approach, they are more ball-playing loosies.
In tight tests like we witnessed in Christchurch you want a tight blindside. I wonder if it's not time to have another look at Jarrad Hoeata as an option?
There will also be some concerns about the front row. It was disconcerting to see the scrum get some wobbles at the end when Ben Franks came on to replace his brother Owen. Ben is a good operator at Super Rugby level with his dual options of playing on both sides of the scrum but I'm not sure that has transferred into the international scene, particularly top-drawer tests like this one. It might be time to look for another specialist tighthead.
But let's not be too critical. This was a victory after all. We should relish a good old-fashioned test like this and give due respect to the All Blacks' defence. Apart from the early hiccup, New Zealand were resolute against persistent green waves of Irish possession and they managed to eventually get the job done and take the series. You could sense that the history of 107 unbeaten years against Ireland was driving the All Blacks at the end, particularly McCaw.
I've said I expect the All Blacks to bounce back strongly from this escape because they will realise they were guilty of losing momentum for much of the second test.
Now it's going to be interesting to see how the Irish react. Do they have another performance like this in them? You could see the pain on their faces after the final whistle when the realisation of how close they'd come to creating history had been snatched from them by a Dan Carter dropped goal.
I suspect that was their chance.
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