All Blacks captain Kieran Read was expecting the British & Irish Lions to adopt a ruthless attitude in the second Test of the DHL series in Wellington on Saturday night.
Down 0-1 in the series, the Lions had their tour and their year on the line and with that in mind the All Blacks would need to be ruthless themselves and they can’t afford to sit back to wait and see what the Lions would bring.
“We’ve got to go out there and try and take it ourselves and lead with our game,” he said.
Read said the choice of two open-side flankers, Sean O’Brien and captain Sam Warburton, wouldn’t change how the All Blacks coped with that, but they were expecting the breakdown to be targeted more by the Lions.
“If we can dominate some ball carries it can hopefully nullify what they’ve got but certainly it will be top of our list this week,” he said.
Being a series it wasn’t to be expected that the same game plan used in the first game would be employed in the second.
“You’ve got to adapt and adjust to what is presented your way. Both teams will have done that and if anything it is going to be more physical and I can’t wait for that battle.
“We’ve got to expect that there’ll be slight changes from them and we’ve obviously got to be good enough to pick out what they are and try and utilise that to our advantage,” Read said.
While the weather was out of their control it appeared it was going to be wetter and windier than it had been for the first Test.
“You can’t just turn up and expect to throw the ball around in those conditions. You’ve got to earn the right to win territory first I think and from there put as much pressure are you can on. It’s hard to make points but we’ll just see what happens tomorrow,” he said.
It had been an ‘off day’ for the All Blacks in the lineout in the first Test, an area of the game the pack prided themselves on and while they hadn’t worked any harder on that area this week they had worked smarter.
“If you look back at it, it was our own errors really,” he said.