New Zealand: Ex-All Black says ambition is key to beating Ian Foster’s men

All Blacks Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea look on after a game. Credit: Alamy
All Blacks Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea look on after a game. Credit: Alamy

Former All Black James Parsons believes an ambitious game-plan is required for teams who want to beat New Zealand.

Speaking on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod, Parsons said he believes Ireland’s ambition to go for the corner with penalties and provide relentless attack was crucial in their historic series win in New Zealand this year.

However, the All Blacks have since found their feet and have won their last six games on the bounce whilst playing much better rugby each week.

Relentless attack required

Parsons feels as though the inhibitions in the Wales and Scotland approaches contributed to them falling short against the All Blacks.

“Ireland were just ruthless when they got penalties,” Parsons told the Aotearoa Rugby Pod. “They just kicked to the corner and they just kept coming at us, I felt like Wales took the three (points), Scotland (too).

“I’m not saying that was the making or breaking but I feel like you’ve got to come in with that attitude, like ‘we’re going to win this game, we’re going to take it away from you, you’re not going to have a chance, you’re not going to have a sniff, you’re not going to have the ability to have a good twenty minutes and come back.’

“Nine points off the boot from (Finn) Russell after the break is great, but it just kept the All Blacks in touch mentally, and it was just enough to make them feel that they’re still in that touching distance. If they kick to the corner, it doesn’t work.”

Parsons explained that when employing the tactic in the July series, even if Ireland did not score when going for the corner, the energy sapped on defence affected how well the All Blacks could respond.

“The one thing I learned out of that Ireland series is that when they didn’t score, they sapped so much energy and then so on the flip side of the ball when the All Blacks were trying to attack, it wasn’t as fluent as what you’d expect,” he said.

Missed chance

The podcast’s co-panellist Bryn Hall agreed with the sentiment, underlining how Scotland will feel they could have beaten the All Blacks last weekend.

“I think for Scotland, man, just think again, one that got away because you’d have to say for sixty minutes of that match, bar the first two tries from the All Blacks, they dictated terms,” he said.

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