As the All Blacks process the second loss of the year to Ireland in Dublin, hooked Dane Coles has pointed out critical moments that the side didn’t take in the narrow 16-9 defeat in an interview with the press on Monday afternoon.
“There was critical moments that we didn’t nail,” said Coles.
“Like there were a couple of lineouts where I let myself down. Those are big moments in the game that we could’ve got back.
“We’re not blaming anyone but like Guzzler [Retallick], when he dropped that ball we were hot on attack. You know, like Reado dropped that ball. There were little moments where we just didn’t win.
The All Blacks first clash with a number two ranked side since the Rugby World Cup final was a re-introduction to test rugby against a proven opponent of the highest caliber. Coles says the team is hurting and a few guys are feeling guilty with a failure to execute in the pressure moments.
“I don’t know what it is. Is it a concentration level? I don’t know. Those big moments at test footy, you’ve got to nail it, and we didn’t nail those little things and at the end of the day that let us down.
“I know speaking to some of the guys, we were pretty gutted yesterday. A few guys felt like we let the team down because we didn’t nail that. If we can do that going forward and just be in the moment [and] nail it, we’ll definitely help the team out.”
Ireland’s execution was typical of their possession-based game, and in the end, one well-executed lineout play proved to be the difference.
“They had a couple of good moments and they scored; that try off the lineout, that was unreal.
The attention has already started to drift towards when these two teams will meet again, which could potentially be in the knockout stages of next year’s World Cup however the All Blacks aren’t thinking that far ahead just yet.
“Personally I’m not really thinking about Rugby World Cup,” he said.
“There might be a time where we have to pull out that drawer and use that feeling that we had on Saturday to get up for the week and we might cross paths, we might not. I’m just focusing on this week.
“Next year, if we come to face them or we don’t, we can use some motivation from that or some learnings from that.
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