Fans welcome All Blacks to Dunedin

The All Blacks have arrived in Dunedin for the second test against Ireland at Forsyth Barr Stadium. 

Players and support staff, all masked up following last week's Covid-19 outbreak in the camp, touched down at Dunedin Airport this afternoon.

They were greeted by a small group of fans eager to congratulate them for their 42-19 win in the opening test at Auckland's Eden Park last night. 

The All Blacks were welcomed at Dunedin Airport this afternoon. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The All Blacks were welcomed at Dunedin Airport this afternoon. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

A kapa haka group provided the official welcome, and the reply was made by All Blacks captain Sam Cane.

While the All Blacks will spend the week in Dunedin ahead of the second test, the Irish squad will not arrive until Wednesday night.

All Blacks and Highlander Aaron Smith.  PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
All Blacks and Highlander Aaron Smith. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

 

Ireland will have gained hope in defeat: Foster 

All Blacks coach Ian Foster expects Ireland to have gained confidence ahead of the Dunedin test despite losing the opener of the three-match series.

Foster's side secured a hard-fought victory after falling behind to an early Keith Earl's try and were forced to endure sustained periods of intense Irish pressure on their tryline.

The pair face off again on Saturday before a concluding third test in Wellington on July 16 and Foster believes Ireland coach Andy Farrell and his team will be buoyed by aspects of their performance in Auckland.

Coach Ian Foster says the Irish put the All Blacks under a lot of pressure. Photo: Getty Images
Coach Ian Foster says the Irish put the All Blacks under a lot of pressure. Photo: Getty Images
"They will have had enough glimpses of good moments in that first quarter and particularly in the third quarter and even in the way they finished to walk away with a bit of hope I would've thought," said Foster.

"Whilst I thought we were really ruthless when we scored points, we were put under a lot of pressure and I thought, particularly defensively, I would've just given us a pass mark.

"I thought our goal line stuff was excellent but we really did allow too many opportunities for them to get in behind us.

"They'll be pleased with that. So I think they'll work hard on their phase play."

New Zealand had lost three of their last five meetings against Ireland going into last night's test.

Foster has also been under growing pressure after the All Blacks were defeated in back-to-back games to close out their 2021 season.

Ireland's Garry Ringrose scores a try at Eden Park last night. Photo: Getty Images
Ireland's Garry Ringrose scores a try at Eden Park last night. Photo: Getty Images
But their six-try win over the Irish, which extended the All Blacks' unbeaten run at Eden Park to 47 tests in 28 years, left the head coach largely satisfied.

"Good to have a good win under your belt, there's always a little bit of the unknown, but (I) stated beforehand, this series was really big for us," he said.

"I think when you look at the bigger picture, the chance to play a team we've got massive respect for and we know is doing really well the last couple of years and to bring them down here for three in a row is pretty special."

The second test at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium kicks off at 7.05pm on Saturday. Gates open at 5pm. 

- ODT and Reuters 

 
 

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