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30-Year Unbeaten Streak at Eden Park on the Line

30-Year Unbeaten Streak at Eden Park on the Line

All BlacksJuly 8, 2024

Respecting Eden Park's legacy will be front and centre of the All Blacks thoughts as they prepare to complete a 2-0 sweep in the Steinlager Series Ultra Low Carb series against England at the weekend.

Coach Scott Robertson said that after the one-point 16-15 win in the first Test in Dunedin, the All Blacks would respect Eden Park for what it's given to New Zealand over the years. Since losing to France at the ground in 1994, the All Blacks have remained unbeaten in all 48 Test matches they've played there since.

"We've prepared well, and tonight was a clear reminder of chess board footy.

"We've still got to earn it at Eden Park. We'll be focused on it this week and let history speak again."

It was a relief because a lot had been packed into their first 10 days together.

"There's a lot of firsts, from the first leaders' meeting to our mental strength performance stuff to their well-being stuff.

"So that's done. Now we're into it. Everyone knows what they do. We'll be more efficient."

Robertson said the All Blacks had many opportunities that they didn't take in the first half, but England hung on.

The second half became an arm wrestle, with the All Blacks unable to get the positions they wanted. In the end, they were happy to get the win.

"The effort was character winning. There were a couple of key moments.

There is a lot of stuff we can get better but I pleased with the result and the mental fortitude."

The outcome was a reminder that it wasn't Super Rugby. It came down to small margins that demanded work off the ball, bravery in the air and kicking goals.

The lesson Robertson took from the Test was how quickly the game could swing.

"Every point counts, and every opportunity counts, especially when you're inside someone's 22. Those little margins were small."

He was pleased with the aerial dominance the All Blacks achieved.

First five-eighths Damian McKenzie's penalty goal attempt being timed out was something they would learn from, and McKenzie had to own it.

"We've got to understand that is where the game is going. We've got to be quicker."

He did feel it would be nice to have a shot clock as other sports do.

Robertson was pleased that Stephen Perofeta was solid at fullback.

"He played really well, covered the back field, brave in the air, everything we wanted from him."

The All Blacks would be better from the game, and many players got some time under their belt.

Halfback TJ Perenara had scans on Sunday afternoon, and if the prognosis was bad, they had plans in place. Flanker Samipeni Finau had passed his HIA protocols and was fit for consideration in Auckland.

No8 Ardie Savea revealed his professionalism in being able to switch back to Test level after his stint in Japan. 

"He got a couple of great turnovers, as you know he can do, and made a couple of tough carries."

Beauden Barrett impressed off the bench, and his guidance showed. His class with key kicks was what they needed at the right time.

Lineouts were a concern, mainly due to Maro Itoje's influence for England, but Robertson felt the All Blacks needed to think a little faster and call faster ahead of the lineouts, and to be faster on their feet.

England had some outstanding operators at the breakdown, were able to get their hands on the ball, and had impressive line speed defensively.

“First test of the year lungs felt it, body felt it but ready to hook into next week” 📈#ReplayInTheSheds @replay pic.twitter.com/pvahMgrUA8

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) July 7, 2024

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