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Irish great questions AB strategy

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Irish great questions All Blacks' late game strategy

Legendary Irish flyhalf Ronan O’Gara has questioned the All Blacks’ approach toward dropped goals with tough tests against England and Ireland upcoming and a World Cup defence rearing its head.

O’Gara highlighted the All Blacks’ failure to get an attempt off in the dying stages of their historic test loss at the hands of South Africa in Wellington during this year’s Rugby Championship.

“As a coaching staff I think you’d be disappointed with your kickers that neither [Damian] McKenzie or [Beauden] Barrett did not orchestrate that (dropped goal attempt), even if they’d missed,” O’Gara said on Irish rugby podcast Off The Ball.

“But the other side of it says that in 70 tests Barrett hasn’t kicked a dropped goal. So it’s a bizarre statistic for an out-half, considering he is the player of the year. But the other side of it is he has such a belief to score in the opposition 22.

“I think there haven’t been enough times for them in one-score games for the necessity to kick a dropped goal. But in this case against the Springboks it wasn’t once or twice, I think we could recall six times to at least have a goal.

“So it will be interesting to see now what happens going forward.”

O’Gara also said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen showed his “human side” by admitting the dropped goal should have been an option.

O’Gara became part of the Crusaders coaching staff this season and from his brief experience in Super Rugby he said “it [a dropped goal] wouldn’t be part of the equation.” He also stood in the corner of Crusaders flyhalf Richie Mo’unga and revealed the side have the dropped goal in their playbook.

“Richie Mo’unga would be interested and well capable of kicking dropped goals,” he said.

Mo’unga will start in the No 10 jersey for the All Blacks when they take on Japan this weekend.

In other news:

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Irish great questions All Blacks' late game strategy