RWC 2023

All Blacks confident they can match level of Ireland, Springboks

September 26, 2023 5:17 am

[Source: Reuters]

New Zealand return to their training camp in Lyon this week after spending a bye week on the west coast of France but, like the rest of the rugby world, they did not miss the World Cup clash between Ireland and South Africa at the weekend.

The Irish won the epic Pool B match at Stade de France but the quality of the contest did nothing to dispel the commonly-held belief that they and the World Cup holders are the best two teams in the tournament.

All Blacks defence coach Scott McLeod said he personally had been most impressed with the performance of both teams at the breakdown given the speed of the contest.

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New Zealand have had their disciplinary issues this year and accuracy will undoubtedly be a focus of training before their next Pool A clash against Italy in Lyon on Friday.

McLeod said the All Blacks been “buzzing” after watching the match and he was confident they would be able to play to a similar standard when the time came.

Flanker Dalton Papalii admitted that some of the training sessions had got a bit heated and said the All Blacks were just desperate to get out and show what they could do.

Ireland are potential quarter-final opponents for the All Blacks but McLeod would not be drawn into looking beyond the Italy game.

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