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All Blacks coach Ian Foster wary Ireland will repeat their Dublin plan as hosts prepare for backlash in Dunedin

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Warning: Ian Foster acknowledges Ireland are a smart team and expects a backlash

Warning: Ian Foster acknowledges Ireland are a smart team and expects a backlash

©INPHO/Photosport/Alan Lee

Warning: Ian Foster acknowledges Ireland are a smart team and expects a backlash

All Blacks head coach Ian Foster is bracing his side for an Irish backlash in tomorrow’s second Test.

With no sense of complacency, Foster has warned his players to expect a big response from Ireland in Dunedin.

The Kiwi boss believes Ireland’s game-plan is similar to what the All Blacks faced when they came up short in Dublin last November, however Foster acknowledged he and his coaches had more footage to work off following the Six Nations.

“Probably very much the same. And that’s a compliment to them more than anything,” Foster said.

“They have played a bit since then, whereas we hadn’t. They played the Six Nations in between those windows. We saw some changes.

“They are a smart rugby team and they are trying to evolve what they do as well.

“We saw a team who has got a pretty good understanding of what they want to achieve, so their clarity of roles and their intentions and how they move collectively as a group is really strong.

“It’s probably their best strength. That makes them a hard team to break down. I’m pretty sure they will pick up a few things. I’m pretty sure they didn’t enjoy last week in terms of the result. I know they are a smart rugby team and they will come back strong.”

With Sam Whitelock missing due to concussion, the All Blacks are without their main lineout operator, but Brodie Retallick is a readymade replacement.

“It is not a massive adjustment, we just shift a bit in the lineout,” Retallick maintained. “It’s a challenge with Peter (O’Mahony) at six so we’ve got to chuck it a bit higher.”

Opposite number Dalton Papalii, however, is out to make a big impression on the blindside:

“The role of a six, in my opinion, is more of a hitman, so I have just got to try and smack someone early on.”

Asked what was the key to disrupting Ireland’s ball at Eden Park, Retallick added: “It is more about trying to pick up cues, try to read body language and then be fast enough to get up off the ground. You try to be fast and get up and disrupt it.”

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