All Blacks are holding back, says Ian Jones
FORMER All Black forward Ian Jones says the All Blacks are foxing before the World Cup and this contributed to their Sydney downfall.
Jones says coach Steve Hansen should continue to keep his World Cup tactics under wraps at Eden Park on Saturday, the final warm up game before the tournament begins next month.
The lanky ex-lock said the All Blacks persisted with tactics that weren't working, such as using Brodie Retallick as a pivot wide of rucks where one bad pass would lead to another as the Australian defenders kept "steaming up".
Jones told Radio Sport's Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast that even Dan Carter is holding back on his running. But he urged the veteran No. 10 to get motoring again on Saturday because his full game was hardly an international secret.
"It didn't go according to plan and was tough to watch...this cannot happen again. It does suck," said Jones, who watched the opening Bledisloe Cup clash from high in the Olympic Stadium stands.
Ian Jones on the Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast.
"Some say losing is a good thing - it's never a good thing. The All Blacks played poorly because of the pressure the Wallabies put on them.
"They (after losses) are tough weeks and you get more physical at training. Train like you want to play. Sometimes you just need physicality."
But Jones said he saw clear opportunities for the All Blacks which they strangely didn't take.
"These All Blacks are smart people," he said.
"They know what is happening and don't want to show their hand. There were big opportunities out there behind the Wallabies' ruck and defensive lines...opportunities they clearly weren't taking.
"Maybe they don't want to show their hand - that's what I was trying to convince myself anyway. And why should they? They are already the most scrutinised team in world rugby."
When asked if they were foxing, Jones replied: "I actually do (even though) I know they would want to win and keep on the roll."
Jones said Carter showed he could still run to the line in setting up one of the Nehe Milner-Skudder tries.
"I truly believe Carter does have to change what he is doing, and not just put it thorough the hands or tactically kick the angles for the corners," said Jones.
He believed there were three first half opportunities to put Australia away in Sydney, and Carter conversions could also have done the trick. Extra muscle helped by the home ground factor would get the All Blacks home at Eden Park without digging into their bag of World Cup tricks.