Les Kiss wary of new dangers from the All Blacks
Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss has warned his side to expect a different threat from New Zealand’s changed line-up for the third and final Test today.
The All Blacks have made six changes from last week’s narrow 22-19 win, the most notable of which sees Aaron Cruden replace injured fly-half Dan Carter, scorer of the late winning drop goal in Christchurch. And Kiss said: “Cruden will pull their strings a bit differently but it will enhance other parts of their game. He works week in, week out with Sonny Bill Williams at the Chiefs, and two of their players in the back row.”
He added: “The other night we were better on our basics and it put us in front of them at stages and gave us a chance to be more physical. Last week is last week and the importance of that game only means something if we build on it.”
Despite that creditable near miss, one area where Ireland have been completely outshone in the series has been the restarts. With Carter and Keiran Read absent for the third Test, the Irish will be hoping to restore parity.
And winger Fergus McFadden said: “I’m sure Richie McCaw will pick up on the role that Read had, in chasing those [restart] balls on the right. We looked at what players could cover that kick because, obviously, that flat kick that Carter was kicking to the right was on the money every time. With Read jumping well you had to get up there early and contest because it was becoming a dog-fight for the ball.
“This week, Aaron Cruden is going to pose a different threat, whether it is down the middle or kicking to the left as he is a right-footer.” McFadden, who scored Ireland’s consolation try in the opening 42-10 hammering at Eden Park, struggled at times to cope with the pace of Julian Savea, but will face a different test this week in the hulking form of Hosea Gear.
Gear has been in fine form with the Highlanders this season and utilised his explosive pace when lining up for New Zealand’s Sevens earlier in the year.
McFadden commented: “Gear will be a new challenge and I’m sure he is up for it after getting his chance this week.”
New Zealand: I Dagg; B Smith, C Smith, S B Williams, H Gear; A Cruden, A Smith; T Woodcock, A Hore, O Franks, L Romano, S Whitelock, L Messam. S Cane, R McCaw (capt). Subs: K Mealamu, B Franks, B Retallick, A Thomson, P Weepu, B Barrett, T Ellison.
Ireland: PR Kearney (Leinster); F McFadden (Leinster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster, capt), P Wallace (Ulster), K Earls (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D Tuohy (Ulster), D Ryan (Munster), K McLaughlin (Leinster), S O’Brien (Leinster), P O’Mahony (Munster). Subs: S Cronin (Leinster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), C Henry (Ulster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O’Gara (Munster), A Trimble (Ulster).
Referee: N R Poite (Fra).
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east