Sport Rugby

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ireland need to be more ruthless in tackling the All Blacks, says D'Arcy

Ireland will be looking to put in some crunching one-on-one tackles to try and slow the All Blacks onslaught when they meet the world champions in the second match in their three-test series in Christchurch this weekend.

New Zealand took Ireland apart to win 42-10 at Eden Park last week, winning most of the battles at the breakdown to set up line breaks around the ruck and create mismatches in the backline.

Gordon D'Arcy returns to the Ireland team at inside centre for Saturday's match in place of the injured Keith Earls and faces the daunting task of dealing with the threat posed by his opposite number, Sonny Bill Williams.

"The breakdown is what rugby is about. There aren't too many tries from set phase anymore," D'Arcy said.

"It's not about the first phase it's that fifth, sixth seventh phase, that missed tackle, one-on-one and when they get in behind with three guys flooding through against the fullback.

"What we learned was that you can't put three guys into the tackle and breakdown, especially when you have guys like Sonny Bill who can make offloads when he's got two players on him.

"We just have to have that ruthlessness in one-on-one tackles to turn the tables a little bit."

D'Arcy said the team had worked hard on their approach to the breakdown, trying to ensure that only one tackler was involved and allowing the second player to try and slow down the ball.

"We know how to do it, we do it week in week out, but we just didn't give it justice (last week)," he said.

Three of the All Blacks' five tries in Auckland were the direct result of counter attacks as the home side benefited from some poor kicking from the Irish.

Ireland defensive coach Les Kiss reiterated a comment made by captain Brian O'Driscoll on Thursday that his side would need to put more pressure on their kick-chase.

"The counter attack of New Zealand is fairly vicious," the Australian said.

"The kick chase really needs to be up there. There needs to be an intensity that will take away their options ... and if we do that we will be able to negate the way they run back."

Kiss said the Irish had not done much "smashing each other on the paddock" this week, but instead had spoken about lifting their mental intensity as they look for their first ever win over the All Blacks.

"It's an attitudinal thing, it's an understanding thing. It's about being quicker, being ready," Kiss added.

"You don't have a minute to wait until the next set piece between breaks, they get the game going quickly and it's implied upon us to be ready for that.

"If we can have a little bit more speed of thought and action then we'll be able to make our one on ones and double team under our terms and ...(create) some havoc."

© Reuters

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