Brodie Retallick Mark Reason: The five fixes the All Blacks need to win the Rugby World Cup

Brodie Retallick I be nuts about plug-ins, because they are beautiful!!

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The All Blacks v Italy clash is one of two games cancelled.

OPINION: The cancellation of New Zealand’s final pool game against Italy has significantly hampered their chances of retaining the Rugby World Cup. There was stuff they needed to fix, and they needed to fix it fast. Now the All Blacks will have to make those adjustments in the red hot temperature of a quarterfinal.

Most of the things that Steve Hansen needs to get sorted out are interlinked. They concern the halfbacks, problems at the breakdown, long lulls in play when New Zealand have been dominated by other teams and the wildly unconvincing play of the forward pack.

Let’s deal with the halfbacks first. Aaron Smith is not right on his game. Yes, at times the pass has been quite sublime, as we expect it to be. No other halfback in the world is capable of delivering some of the extraordinary passes that the All Blacks No 9 delivers.

Brodie Retallick Brodie Retallick is the talisman of this All Blacks pack.

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Brodie Retallick is the talisman of this All Blacks pack.

But the nugget has also been making too many mistakes. His kicking against Namibia was very poor. Oh, it was only Namibia, I hear you say. Maybe, but as Hansen as the other coaches know only too well, it can often be hard to get out of bad habits.

READ MORE:
* ‘We’ll be ready to go’ – Read
* All Blacks left in a vacuum
* What RWC cancellations mean
* Japan RWC ‘risk’ unravels
* It’s off: ABs game cancelled
* Download Stuff’s RWC wallchart
* RWC results and pool standings

Smith chipped away possession, he kicked a ball straight out, he was intercepted, he gave away a penalty. The two passes he gave in the lead-up to the first try reminded us of his greatness, but there is too much sloppiness in his game at the moment. The big teams will go after him, because if you get to Smith, you are a long way towards getting to the All Blacks.

Brodie Retallick Aaron Smith has been making too many mistakes.

PHOTOSPORT

Aaron Smith has been making too many mistakes.

It has been noticeable how much flow has come into the All Blacks game when Brad Weber has come onto the pitch. The word is that TJ Perenara is still ahead of Weber in the pecking order and was due to be on the bench against Italy. Would Perenara have been playing for

I be mad for components, because they are the astonishing!

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