All Blacks frantically try and remember how to catch in training this week
Throughout their series against Ireland and the first Test against South Africa last weekend, the All Blacks have not looked like the team the rugby world has grown used to over the last decade, and one of the most noticeable drop offs in their standard is their handling.
The All Blacks have been dropping balls left, right and centre over the past month and a half which is something that was very seldom seen during the Steve Hansen days. So the side have clearly gone back to basics this week as they prepare for their rematch with the Springboks in Johannesburg this Saturday.
In a video that has been shared online by Sky Sport NZ, plenty of players are simply training catching and passing, which is something that many would not expect from a Test team, but if shows the state of New Zealand rugby at the moment. Sam Cane and Sam Whitelock were seen in the video simply walking and passing.
The number of dropped balls were noticeable against Ireland, but against South Africa it becomes far more serious. Against a pack as powerful as the Boks’, Ian Foster’s side want to reduce the number of scrums as much as possible as they run the risk of conceding a penalty. Dropped balls suddenly become far more costly against the world champions, which is why the team are clearly trying to address that this week.
Then again, that is not the only area of the game that the All Blacks must improve upon if they wish to turn their 26-10 loss in the first round of the Rugby Championship into a win at Ellis Park on Saturday. The video also shows the team practicing their rucking, particularly clearing out, as the Springboks were able to cause havoc at the breakdown last Saturday.
Take a look at the All Blacks training: