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Rugby | Springboks

Aaron Smith © Gallo Images

All Blacks need to get clinical - Smith

All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith called on his teammates to up the ante when they face the Springboks in their Castle Rugby Championship match in Auckland on Saturday.

Speaking on stuff.co.nz Smith, who scored twice as the World Champions downed Argentina, said the team were unhappy with their decision-making and would need to be clinical against a rejuvenated Bok squad who arrived in Auckland on Sunday after nine consecutive wins.

"I'd say our review will have a lot of talk about our decision-making," said Smith. "Leading into the Africans we'll have to be a lot more clinical than that. Our warm-up was good, the ball was good at the start of the game, and then the rain came and we didn't change our game-plan.

"Our ability to build pressure at the right times and not give away silly penalties was lacking. If we let teams off like that and let them out of their pressure zones we'll tend to struggle to put them away."

"We wanted to play a bit of footy, and I was a key part of that. I was pretty excited to play with some width as well, and I needed to adjust to the conditions.

"We don't want to change our game too much, but we've got to make better use of the conditions. Our decision-making at times wasn't as good as it's been in the past, and if we'd played a bit more territory like we did in the second test against France, we would have been able to build more pressure.

"We let them off the hook at times, and were just trying to make plays every time and weren't trying to build pressure. The Argentineans were very good at the breakdown and doing all those niggly things and were able to pressure us quite well."

Smith said the physical workout they got was precisely what the All Blacks needed ahead of a very physical Bok pack.

"We'd talked before this game about the next two weeks being a very physical thing. The Aussies play very similar to us - very fast footy and they try to beat you on the punch. You know with the Argentines and Africans they're coming at you, they're coming round those rucks. I know our big boys get excited about that."


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