1 Treat this as a Test match, not a pokeresque exercise in keeping tricks up your sleeve to be withdrawn at a later date, while at the same time benefitting solely from having taken part in the exercise. It doesn’t work. At least not for us. Interestingly the Kiwis were happy to pull a sophisticated set-piece move from the top drawer against the Boks in Port Elisabeth last weekend, and it gave them a glorious try for Richard Kahui. Next time we see that it will have a variation, which, done at speed, will be enough to undo the analysis the opposition will have done on the original. If we have something sexy then let’s see it now.
2 Take your points. Especially if they present themselves in the first quarter. This goes pretty much for the other three quarters as well but what you squander in the first tends to come back and haunt you in the fourth. Or sooner as was the case against France. I was alarmed by David Wallace’s remarks earlier in the week about these not being “full-on” Test matches, and that there was a tendency to go through more phases than would normally be the case. Sounds abnormal to me.
3 Tell Wallace to give it everything for 60 minutes and then replace him with Denis Leamy. Injury might put the kibosh on this but Wallace can hardly have the gas for the whole journey and Leamy – one of only two back-rowers who are close to match pace – will probably end up playing seven at some stage in New Zealand.