The All Blacks will have to be smart with the potential for rain in Tokyo to play in the hands of the suffocating Irish defence, assistant coach Ian Foster admits.
Approximately 40mm of rain is forecast in the Japanese capital tomorrow night, meaning the second Rugby World Cup quarter-final could be a slug-fest played out in the trenches.
“We’ve got to be smart, there’s potential rain, we’re playing a team that likes to suffocate you, all sort of those things, we’ve got to respect all those things,” Foster said today.
Foster admitted that a number of changes the All Blacks had made in the last 12 months had been in response to some below-par performances last season including the loss to Ireland in Dublin.
“We always remember our losses pretty clearly, but you try and learn from them moving forward.
"If you look at the things we’ve changed in the last 12 months and we have changed a number of things and a lot of those are because of some performances we had last year that we weren’t totally proud of.”
"I think it’s a different group we’ve got this year, they’re excited, they’re confident to play and our challenge going into a big game is not to dampen that confidence.”