Read told the New Zealand Herald’s Gregor Paul that instructions to attempt a dropped goal in their final possession were ignored by first-five eighth Beauden Barrett.
No shot was taken and Damian McKenzie subsequently lost the ball in contact, ending the match. Both Read and Barrett were criticised for not making an attempt at a three-pointer after the fixture.
Read told the Herald that in the loss in Wellington he should have been more firm when the All Blacks set a scrum under the Springbok posts with a minute left.
Would he have insisted, in the sort of tone that makes it clear it’s an order rather than a suggestion, that Barrett try to drop a goal?
“It is a funny one because you pack down the scrum and the call was made to drop the goal,” Read said. “It didn’t happen but I also back him [Barrett] to make that decision because if D-Mac [McKenzie] doesn’t get the ball knocked out of his hands and scored the try we win the game.
“I think, though, if you look back and say if we are in this position again we drop the goal – especially in a game that really matters.”
After the loss Read said the All Blacks potentially looked into the result too much, with a lengthy review taking place.
“We lost the game and I think we may have in hindsight over-analysed that game, reviewed it too hard. We weren’t as mentally as strong as we needed to be and that was the biggest lesson we took out of it.
“Coach talked a lot about game management after it and they are things you can always work on and get better at get right as a group.”
The All Blacks will play their final test of the year this weekend when they meet Italy in Rome.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.