All Blacks: Sam Cane looking for more from his side ahead of tricky second Test against Ireland

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

New Zealand captain Sam Cane believes his side need to raise their levels from last week’s Test win over Ireland as it will not be enough to win the second Test.

Cane’s men claimed a 42-19 win, but the scoreline does not suggest how much pressure Ireland put on the All Blacks in the opening quarter before clinical finishing took the game away.

Test rugby is mentally and physically draining, taking time to recover, but Cane says the search to be better often energises the squad.

“That didn’t last long [after Saturday’s 42-19 win],” he said.

“As soon as we got down here, got settled in and stuck into the review, it is always quite energising highlighting, and looking at areas where we can be better, and where we need to make some shifts.”

Big loss

Sam Whitelock, who recently became the second most capped All Black in history, has been ruled out of the second Test after suffering from delayed concussion symptoms. Tupou Vaa’i remains sidelined after contracting Covid, resulting in a call-up for Patrick Tuipulotu.

“Sammy was awesome in the weekend, he became the second most capped All Black of all time which was hugely impressive,” said Cane.

“We will no doubt miss his leadership and what he brings.

“Tupou had been playing well all Super Rugby and was hanging out for his opportunity, so it’s a tough pill for him to have to swallow. It’s almost got to the stage where anyone who hasn’t had it, it is lurking and going to strike soon soon, and poor Toops had to get it this week.

“But, man, in terms of replacements we’ve got a 40-odd Test All Black in Patrick Tuipulotu to call in. He trained with us last week, so he’s up to speed.”

Need improvement

Cane knows it will only get more challenging as the series continues and believes that, despite the lopsided scoreline, the first Test was even.

“We were lucky we managed to have a real good 20 minutes in the back end of the first half when we put some points on, but if you look at the rest of the Test it was fairly even,” he said.

“We know they’ll come out and will have lifted their game from last week.”

READ MORE: Loose Pass: Poor player behaviour and Eddie Jones under pressure

The article All Blacks: Sam Cane looking for more from his side ahead of tricky second Test against Ireland appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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