Planet Rugby

NZ skills must improve - Whitelock

09th June 2014 07:12

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sam whitelock new zealand england

Challenged: Sam Whitelock

New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock admits that the All Blacks have to improve their skill sets after an 'honest' review session.

A narrow 20-15 win over England in Auckland was filled with unusual handling errors and 21 missed tackles from the world champions in a poor performance.

Whitelock admitted the honest nature of the review would do New Zealand some good moving forward.

''The review was very honest. It was good - honesty is the best way,'' Whitelock told Stuff.

''We will know what we need to work on and our individual skills weren't good enough so we have plenty things to work on this week."

New Zealand were also well matched at the set-piece, with changes expected to be made in the England side with Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley now available to run the lineout.

Rob Webber and Geoff Parling went well at Eden Park, but for Whitelock the skills come first ahead of individual confrontations.

"First of all we have to get our own skill sets right and if we do that it will sort our own game out," added Whitelock.

''If you go out there with a personal battle ... you are in trouble. At short lineout time there is a bit of one-on-one. But there is so much movement right across the field, you never really tackle your opposite. If you got caught up in all that you are in trouble.

''So we have to make sure we have a good understanding of every player.

"If you get caught up in individuals you are going to get yourselves into trouble but any guy coming in and playing for their country is going to be passionate and want to do well."

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