Smith: Cup lessons helped All Blacks win
Mon, 18 Jun 2012 5:25a.m.
Centre Conrad Smith believes the lessons learnt during last year's Rugby World Cup were critical to helping the All Blacks salvage victory at the death against Ireland in the second Test.
The below-par All Blacks needed Daniel Carter's drop goal with 30 seconds left in the match to beat Ireland 22-19 any deny the tourists the chance of a first ever win against the world champions.
Smith, who played in the 8-7 final win over France, said their ability to stay relaxed and focus helped them work their way into a position to win the match.
"Before the world cup we talked about it a lot and nights like that was another occasion where you're under pressure.
"The last thing that you want to do is start changing your game plan," says Smith after notching his 51st win of his 57-Test career.
Smith was confident that the clutch of newcomers, three were playing their second Test and Sam Cane made his debut, would also take plenty from the intensity of the game heading into the final Test in Hamilton.
"It's good to learn those lessons and still have a win. We could have easily have lost that game and the lessons would have been learnt in a lot harsher way and it would have been a lot tougher week.
"As long as we take on board where we went wrong and learn from it, then it will be good for us."
He says the bitterly cold conditions were not conducive to playing the kind of game the All Blacks wanted and they were guilty of trying to move the ball too much after the success in the first Test.
"We still have that tendency to want to play - which is a good thing and I think the All Blacks will always like that - but we need to be smarter in when we do it."
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18/06/2012 12:38:08 p.m.
That was one hell of a match with the All Blacks salvaging the match right at the very end thanks to Dan the man! Phew! Well done to Ireland for taking it to the All Blacks and making it such an exciting game. I was there at the stadium and I assure you - the last thing I was feeling with 30 seconds left on the clock was the bitterly cold weather.
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