Collective responsibility for dealing with the expected concentration by the British & Irish Lions’ rush defence will be the attitude the All Blacks take into Saturday’s first Test at Eden Park.
Flanker Jerome Kaino said the Lions system was awesome and not something struck very often in Super Rugby and the Lions didn’t tend to miss their tackles when using the system.
It wouldn’t be down to first five-eighths Beauden Barrett alone in dealing with the ploy.
“We’ve got a lot of key drivers in our team that like to see opportunities and we’d like to think it doesn’t just fall on one person’s shoulders, everyone else takes responsibility on seeing the pictures and executing,” he said.
Kaino said he had been a little sore after the Samoan game but enjoyed the time he got on the field and after missing out for several weeks it had been good to get some minutes.
As the only All Black still playing who appeared against the 2005 Lions, he played for Auckland, he said his memory was more about the off-field reaction and climate and the way the whole country got behind the tour. The Lions fans had added to the whole picture.
“It was a great time to be in New Zealand at that time and there is a similar feeling this time around,” he said.
The possibility of being able to run out at the weekend, if selected, was exciting, he said.
Having so many Lions fans in the crowd would not be an issue for the side, it was something they were used to overseas and it didn’t bother them, he said.
Brodie Retallick said the week was about focusing on what they were going to do to deal with the Lions line speed and their attack.
“We’re working on building intensity throughout the week and taking it to them on Saturday night,” he said.
“There’s a lot of anticipation about this first Test and the series. We’ve got huge respect for what the Lions are and what they’re bringing. They play the game slightly different to an Australian or South African team but that’s what rugby is all about, having the ability to overcome an opposition with different tactics,” he said.
Kaino said, “We have a game that we want to play and we’ll try and play that as well as we can.”