‘All Blacks fully focused on Perth Test’ – Dane Coles

Date published: August 6 2019

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles is in no doubt the team’s focus will be fully applied to Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup Test with Australia in Perth.

Coles said looking at the first two games of the Rugby Championship a lot of players had not played for a while and in the first half of both matches the skill-sets had been terrible and a lot of ball had been dropped.

And when that happened ball was being turned over so from that aspect it was about taking care of their own ball to reduce chances for opponents.

There had also been some good lessons from both the defence and attack sides of their review and if they were unable to improve on that evidence and play like they had in those Tests, it would be a tough day in Perth on Saturday.

Coles repeated several times that the side were only looking to Saturday and not at the World Cup.

“This trophy is very important to both countries and we want to make sure we do everything we can to perform. We’ll keep improving week by week and see how we go,” he told the All Blacks’ official website.

“I was reminded pretty early when I came into this team of how important the Bledisloe Cup is; you really want to be that team that holds it and that’s all we can focus on this week.

“Everyone’s attention needs to be in Perth for us to have the best chance of performing this week.”

One of the positives from the first two games had been their defence.

“There’s still some things we can get better but a lot of it is based on your attitude and how hard you want to work so there’s some promising signs there and we’re going to have to lift again and be better,” said Coles.

The 32-year-old said the Australian scrum was performing well and they looked to have adjusted to the new law well against Argentina while their bench had also caused damage.

“In our game we weren’t too flash we got pushed over the ball a couple of times against the Boks, so we need to do a bit of work,” he explained.

“They’ve [Australia] got a pretty experienced front row. We need to adapt and be a little sharper to stay in the game.”

Coles added that the side would also be remembering All Blacks stalwart Sir Brian Lochore’s legacy at some stage during the week.

“I think it is important that we do acknowledge him because of what he did for the All Blacks,” he said.

“I think it is important that we have a space in this week that we talk about it and bring some emotion into it and recognise the man because he did a lot not only for the black jersey but a lot of people in New Zealand as well.”

Coles added he was enjoying being back playing after injury frustrations earlier in the season. He was feeling good and felt full of energy when coming on against South Africa.

“I’m in a good place, it’s a win every week when I am on the field or training and being with the boys,” he said.