The All Blacks could make shock front row changes after getting beaten up by the Wallabies in Perth.
That’s the call from former coach John Hart, who said the established All Black props failed to meet their new job description in the massive defeat to the Wallabies.
Hart says the All Black will get back on track if they can win the collisions, but told Radio Sport that starting props Franks and Moody failed in their new mission.
And there are startling statistics which back Hart up.
Moody made just one carry, which is one more than Franks made, while replacements Atu Moli and Angus Ta’avao made five each.
In stark contrast, Wallaby tighthead Allan Alaalatoa made an incredible 12 runs, and Scott Sio an impressive eight as Australia dominated possession. Replacement Taniela Tupou made eight, and James Slipper one.
“I thought we were outplayed physically we made to many mistakes, let Australia in game, their physicality was the difference,” Hart said.
“The All Blacks need to win the physical battle, need to win the collisions, need to get the ball going forwards and certainly need to eliminate errors.
“We lost the physical battle. We were on the back foot, they were on the front foot.
“Steve [Hansen] said he was looking more from his props…I thought on Saturday night we saw eight Australian forwards with the capacity to carry the ball and make inroads into the defence. You didn’t see many ball carrying All Black forwards.
“There was a lot of pressure on the props this week to carry the ball – it didn’t happen they do have to have props carrying the ball saw Australian props carrying the ball but not ours.
“Maybe we need to change in terms of [props] we start and finish with.”
Hart said the All Blacks would concentrate on the basics this week, and if the forwards could do the job then the backs would flow. But they had also been beaten up front by the Springboks.
He said the controversial Richie Mo’unga/Beauden Barrett combination was not getting a fair chance because the forwards were getting smashed. Barrett provided a spark in the No 15 jersey which Smith would now struggle to emulate.
Since the start of 2018, Smith has started 15 tests, six at fullback and nine on the wing.
“The Australians came out firing and let’s give credit to them,” he said.
“They played very, very well, it’s the fittest Australian side I’ve seen in years. They went the distance physically and mentally.
“Nic White, who hasn’t been a big name in rugby, had an outstanding game because he was given quality ball and could manipulate the defence. All of a sudden their backs had the space.
“The electricity that Beauden Barrett provides at 15 would be lacking in Ben Smith, so you can’t quite get the same thing,” he added.
“Damian McKenzie’s injury is a major injury for the All Blacks in terms of the game they were playing and they’re trying now to compliment that and put something else in place that continues to have that electricity from the back.”
“But it all goes back to the quality of the ball. We made so many dumb errors, gave away so many penalties so we gave away field position.”
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