The All Blacks have been reined in by assistant coach John Plumtree after it appeared they had peaked too early ahead of Saturday’s rematch against Argentina.
The side are into their second week of training following a historic loss to Los Pumas, and second consecutive in the Tri Nations.
The unusual circumstance of spending a week in limbo on a bye has meant the All Blacks coaching group has had to carefully plan their approach to training.
But speaking to media from Sydney, Plumtree admitted they got a bit carried away this week.
“The intensity was a little bit higher than usual because of the bye week and then we had a really good intense session [yesterday] where we sort of got the feeling that the boys are ready to go now,” Plumtree said. “We had to hold them back a little bit.”
“We’re just enjoying getting back to work after having a week with no test at the end of it, where this week feels great around being able to get back to work.”
All Blacks fullback Beauden Barrett said the level of intensity was likely due to them not treating their bye as a week off.
“We worked on our game, we trained really hard, so we’re excited we’ve got something to look forward to this week,” Barrett said. “We want to finish strongly in this competition and finish our year on a high.
“We’ve learnt a lot from [the loss to Argentina] and we’ve been training areas where we’re going to look to exploit that defence so we’re aware that there is opportunity and it’s just about executing it.”
Meanwhile, Barrett revealed he and wife Hannah, along with baby Billie, were set to depart for Japan early next week.
Barrett signed with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath earlier for a one-year sabbatical and said the plan was to fly there straight after the weekend’s match, rather than face double the amount of quarantine.
“We’ll be going up to Japan together next so I can’t wait for that,” he said. “I think we have two weeks in isolation up there, so have got plenty of time to take over and give Han a break. I’m really looking forward to that.”
The All Blacks play Argentina in Newcastle on Saturday night.
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