- Jerome Kaino says New Zealand must get better to win the series
- “Those players watching would have ideas on how to attack us” – All Blacks No.8
Jerome Kaino is tipping England improve on their first Test performances and provide another fearsome contest when the two sides meet again in Dunedin on Saturday.
The Auckland Blues No.8 was making his first New Zealand appearance since the 2011 Rugby World Cup final as Conrad Smith’s try late try snatched a 15th straight victory for Steve Hansen’s side.
Stuart Lancaster’s side was shorn of 15 players Aviva Premiership finalists Northampton Saints and Saracens, all of whom are available for the second and third Tests on June 14 and June 21 respectively.
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Kaino said the All Blacks were well aware of the players watching on from the stands at Eden Park and said their involvement will provide a tougher examination for the world champions.
“I think England will be better next week,” said the 49-Test man. “Those star players that were watching would have some ideas on how they’re going to attack us next week and I think they’ll take a lot of confidence out of what they did tonight.
“They’ll be thinking they can build on it. They’ll be better and our job is to get better ourselves.”
While anticipating an England power surge under the roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Kaino vowed that they would also be facing a different All Blacks after a critical assessment of the game and another week of training.
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Playing their first Test match in six months, the All Blacks stuttered as they made a number of uncharacteristic handling errors – Israel Dagg and Ma’a Nonu were hauled off – and the pack were troubled in the tight and the loose by England.
“Expect a better performance from us next week,” he added. “We’re building and we’ll be pretty critical about what we did out there.
“I always knew England were physical. Their forwards are big boys, if you give them space and you let them go forwards they are hard to stop. Their backs did well to counter too and we lacked basics in our handling, so there are a lot of work-ons for next week.
“It was a good welcome back to Test rugby. Throughout the whole 80 minutes there were some good shots going in and I found myself at the bottom of the ruck thinking ‘yep, this is Test footie’.”