Black Power

It seems fatuous to say it when you look at the final score but I was right yesterday when I indicated that the All Blacks tend to be rusty in their first international in June.

For the first 25 minutes Samoa put them under real pressure and with better finishing might have had a couple of tries.

After that though the All Blacks got scary – scoring 4 tries in the first half and another 8 after halftime.

The handling, offloading and attack from broken play and turnovers will have the Lions coaches focussing on denying them the ball.

Beauden Barrett is the best 10 in the world and Brodie Retallick is probably the best lock.

Israel Dagg   Ben Smith, Anton Leinert-Brown and several others would also get in a world XV.

Steve Hansen won’t be happy with everything and will want to start quicker next week.

The Lions will be better than Samoa in the set piece and defence – they will also need to be very clinical and take every point on offer if they are to win the first test.

The key will be to suffocate the ABs and not give them room to play – easier said than done as they showed today that they can attack from anywhere.

Earlier on the same pitch Wales finally won a game at Eden Park.

The final score line (24-6) flattered them a little – Tonga were within a score well into the last quarter.

However Wales were good for the win – Gareth Anscombe looked the part and Thomas Young will be pleased with his debut (as will his dad!).

Sam Davies had a mixed game and will not be pleased that he missed some kicks that Dan Biggar would have slotted with ease.

The happiest man will be Shaun Edwards – the defence was outstanding.

 

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