Injury-hit All Blacks dig deeper: Hansen

By Daniel Gilhooly, Daniel Gilhooly is a Roar Guru

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    The All Blacks want their latest wave of injuries to spark the same response as last week as they attempt to secure the Bledisloe Cup for another year on Saturday.

    New Zealand will field their fourth-choice five-eighth – either Colin Slade or uncapped Tom Taylor – in the second Bledisloe Test against Australia in Wellington after Aaron Cruden (knee ligament) and Beauden Barrett (calf strain) were both ruled out with injuries from the 47-29 game one win in Sydney last Saturday.

    Adding to their concerns, lock Luke Romano is out for the entire Rugby Championship after tearing his groin early in that game.

    The sight of veteran outside centre Conrad Smith sitting out most of Tuesday’s training session with a sore ankle also set tongues wagging although he is expected to be fit for the weekend.

    Hansen is calling on his team to respond as they did last week when they lost playmaking great Dan Carter (calf) and form flanker Liam Messam (hamstring) in the leadup to the Sydney Test.

    Their respective replacements – Cruden and Steven Luatua – were among New Zealand’s best players in the emphatic six-try win.

    “A bit of adversity doesn’t hurt anybody. We had some last week and people stood up and were counted,” Hansen said.

    “And that’s the expectation this week – we just get on with the job.”

    Slade is likely to end a two-year Test absence by starting at five-eighth with Crusaders utility Taylor added to the bench as back up.

    Hansen was encouraged by how Slade and Taylor had absorbed information in their first two days in camp.

    “It’s not easy but they’ve fitted in lovely,” he said.

    “Both of them are reasonably comfortable in the environment.

    “The game plan is not too difficult so we’ve got to trust them and everyone else just has to do their own jobs really really well.”

    Slade’s 10th and most recent Test was the 2011 World Cup quarter-final win over Argentina.

    He hobbled out of that game, part of the first five-eighth injury curse at the tournament which also claimed Carter and Cruden – turning fourth-choice Stephen Donald into an unlikely hero in the final.

    Loose forwards Luke Whitelock and Brad Shields have also bolstered the squad although it will be a surprise if either plays at Wellington.

    Brodie Retallick should be promoted as starting lock in place of Romano, with Jeremy Thrush coming onto the reserve bench.

    Cruden, a standout performer in Sydney, requires further assessment. He could be ruled out for anything from two to six weeks.

    Barrett, who replaced Cruden in the 70th minute, suffered a minor strain and should be available for New Zealand’s third Test of the Rugby Championship, against Argentina in Hamilton on September 7.

    Romano tore a tendon and will target a return for the tour of Europe and Japan in November.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • August 21st 2013 @ 3:53am
      ScrumJunkie said | August 21st 2013 @ 3:53am | ! Report

      ‘The game plan is not too difficult’ no kidding.

      Let Richie look like he’s minding his own business at the wrong side of rucks, and wait for the Aussies to make a mistake.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 5:26am
      Bazza Allblack Supporter said | August 21st 2013 @ 5:26am | ! Report

      Well the wallabies are on the rise, correcting the mistakes they gifted to all blacks and the all blacks did not get their flu jabs this year.

      History means nothing and wallabies positive predictions for Wellington have cowed the all blacks

      Wallabies win 27-3

      • August 21st 2013 @ 8:03am
        WQ said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        Nice Bazza, Nice!

      • August 21st 2013 @ 4:38pm
        Ajax said | August 21st 2013 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

        Nice tongue in cheek stuff πŸ˜‰

        Having said that, the Aussies looked better when Cooper and Kudriani came on.. move Folua to full back.. their backline looks a lot better.. AAC and JOC are decent wingers.

        Aussie lineout was good all night.. and at different moments, the Aussie scrum wasnt too bad. They did actually have the better of the Lions scrum for the first 2 tests this year… Slipper, Moore and Kepu looks reasonable.. bigger than I realized.

        Kiwis will no doubt win this weekend.. but I think the Aussies can at least make a game of it.

        Is everyone in the All Blacks named Smith these days??

      • August 22nd 2013 @ 7:38am
        Glen said | August 22nd 2013 @ 7:38am | ! Report

        Wellington forecast this Saturday,All Blacks storm… though will be closer game.. Go ABs

    • August 21st 2013 @ 6:57am
      felix said | August 21st 2013 @ 6:57am | ! Report

      Are you saying AB will get only 3,even the Puma’s would manage more than 3,unless Suzy strikes I’d bet my house AB will get more than 3 Hahahaha πŸ™‚ good 1 when things look wobbly as a fan just fantasise or be optomistic,dreamland.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 6:58am
      Adsa said | August 21st 2013 @ 6:58am | ! Report

      As always the sure and enviable depth of the All Blacks will come to the front, I wish we had that depth.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 8:42am
      mace 22 said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      I think if this sort of thing had happened to any other team they would be in deep doodoo.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 8:46am
      canadiankiwi said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      Neither Slade nor Taylor will have any impact on determining which forward pack dominates the set pieces and breakdowns which is why Hansen is not losing any sleep over the injuries at 10.

      If the All Black forwards dominate the breakdown again this weekend and clean up their line-out mistakes, the Wallabies will get a massive whooping in Wellington regardless of who starts at 10.

      My prediction is that Taylor will start at 10 as he is a world class goal kicker (90% accuracy the past two seasons in Super 15).

      • August 21st 2013 @ 9:48am
        mace 22 said | August 21st 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        picking the better kicker between the two isn’t in the all black psyche. they’ll the one that suits the game plan they’ve decided on. I myself would prefer taylor.

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