Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Demanding McCaw still not happy James Mortimer - (10/06/2012)

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, despite winning his first test as leader of a World Championship team, said that at times his team's work on the deck could have been better.

It continues a theme from the 104-test flanker that he has been stressing all week, that the All Blacks needed to continually improve and keep setting themselves new benchmarks.

Despite it being the eighth time the All Blacks had put at least five tries on Ireland, McCaw seemed relatively unimpressed with asked what he thought of the contest.

"It was okay," McCaw said. 

"It's just a start really.  At halftime it felt like we were alright on the scorebook but we probably didn't get the control we wanted at the breakdown and I thought it was a lot better in the second half.

Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll and coach Declan Kidney said that the difference between the sides was the work at the breakdown, but McCaw, ever the perfectionist, said that the All Blacks needed to be a bit more alert at the ruck.

"I thought we were a bit slow at times, and got sucked into rucks when perhaps we should be covering numbers," he said.

The All Blacks were devastating on turnover ball, which led to the likes of Julian Savea and Israel Dagg running riot on attack.

Despite the pedigree of the Irish backrow, with Sean O'Brien having a strong game, the All Blacks began to take control as the match wore on and steal possession of the visitor's ball.

"Turnover ball is the best ball to get, and we forced a couple of them and scored one try from counter-attacks," McCaw said.

Like O'Driscoll, he said the speed of the game was up a few notches.

"It was definitely a step up from Super Rugby," he said.

He praised the efforts of Ireland, but the All Blacks captain said that with improvement he hoped they could take it up a notch next week.

"The Irish put a lot of heat on the breakdown and we had a lot of ball carriers taken down too early," McCaw said.

"If we get that right and get good, quick ball next week then we can put more pressure on. We can step it up again."

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