Andy Farrell believes that Ireland and South Africa’s World Cup duel in Paris contained all the ingredients of a rock-hard test.
According to the Ireland coach, it was a see-saw battle in the Stade de France with both teams refusing to throw in the towel.
And the All Blacks wholeheartedly agree with that analysis.
“The players’ mindset impressed me a lot. Both teams put each other under intense pressure in the scrums, while the defense was rock solid. This is undoubtedly the benchmark for the rest of the tournament,” said Scott McLeod.
The New Zealanders’ defense coach believes that the Irish and Bucks deserve a pat on the back for their good discipline.
“The game was very fast, but also clean while there were very few tackling offences. It’s an incredible achievement when you consider the pace of the game, as well as the players’ willingness to put their bodies on the line.”
According to McLeod, the All Blacks were excited to follow the action between the two top teams.
“The match made the players buzz among themselves and this is the type of rugby they would like to play.”
He believes that the Kiwis have the ability to approach a test with the same mindset.
“We did a trial run on the training field: The players got in amongst each other and we trained at a fast pace. We are now trying to maintain a good balance – on the one hand you want to avoid injuries and on the other hand you want to raise the intensity levels of the training sessions.”
The All Blacks play Italy in Lyon on Friday.