History has shown that the last game on end-of-year tours can be difficult and New Zealand are conscious of that ahead of Saturday’s Test against France in Paris.
All Blacks hooker Dane Coles said in those moments when the mind drifted to summer holiday activities at home it was a case of switching back onto the task at hand.
It required the ‘one place, one mind’ type of mindset because they wanted to finish the tour with a performance to be proud of, he said.
“We know it’s a bit of a trap that last game on tour but we’ve talked about that and it’s about us leading every day and making sure we stay in France and not New Zealand on a beach somewhere,” he told the All Blacks’ official website.
The high penalty count and the high tackles committed in the two Irish Tests were something the side would need to work on as the All Blacks couldn’t afford to be hit hard by penalties in the future.
It wasn’t a case of going out with intent to injure, he said, they tended to be a reaction in the moment and there was no malice concerned. The All Blacks did play hard but their approach was not that of barbarians as had been quoted in some media.
“We can’t control what other people say, all we can control is our performance and the way we play rugby and if people don’t like that then obviously you can’t please everyone,” said Coles.
“We take a lot of pride in playing the game in the right way and in our performance.”