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7 November, 2014 at 1:58 am in Auto
There are few secrets in international rugby these days - video analysis in which every play, and player, comes under the closest scrutiny has seen to that - so the All Blacks are wary about an England team which has flown under the radar since June.
Air Max 2014 Black The last test Stuart Lancaster's team played was the 36-13 thrashing at the hands of the All Blacks at Waikato Stadium on June 21. Since then the All Blacks have played seven tests, winning five, drawing against Australia in Sydney and losing to the Springboks in Johannesburg.
Air Max 90 Mid for sale As far as Steve Hansen is concerned, Lancaster has had ample opportunity to assess where the All Blacks are at. But for Hansen, there is a fear that his team are heading into the unknown.
Air Max 2014 for sale "You've got to work on the what-ifs - what will they do differently? We've played a lot of games since we last played [each other]. They've played none. What are they going to bring that's different? Have we covered it all off in our thinking or have we missed something? It would be annoying if we missed something and they get away with it but I guess that's rugby isn't it?"
Asked whether the game time and match fitness the All Blacks had amassed over the last few months would be an advantage on Sunday (NZT), Hansen again hedged his bets.
"It is in one way. In another way it's not," he said. "We're coming to the end of our season, they're at the beginning of theirs. The bonus for us is we've had time together. If you think about the three weeks in June, we had five days to prepare. These guys have had two weeks ... they will be hungry for the game but I think the advantage in our court is that we've played more rugby.
"Where it is levelled out is that they have had more opportunity to see what we've done differently to the last test in Hamilton. We're second-guessing what they are going to do differently."
Cheap Air Max 90 Before Lancaster's side left New Zealand he commented their fitness had to improve. But asked whether he felt they had been able to achieve that, Hansen was again unsure.
"I don't know because I haven't seen them play. What I do know is that they have a massive desire to be good.
"So if you've got a desire and hunger then you will make the sacrifices to be better, so we'll expect them to be more skilled and fitter."
There is a feeling England will persevere with their more attacking mindset under Lancaster, a fair assumption given the coach's feelings about his team's fitness and also the way in which they played in Dunedin, where they shocked the All Blacks with a first-half blitz followed by a lull and a fast finish for a final 28-27 scoreline to the home side.
Lock Brodie Retallick is one who is expecting the usual physicality from England, along with a refinement of their running game.
"They've had a bit of time in camp and I'm guessing they're going to bring something new to the table and probably something along those [attacking] lines and try to do it a bit better than they did [in June]. They've had a good amount of time to prepare and no one has seen the footage of what they have been doing so it's probably going to be something we haven't seen and a bit unexpected."
One All Black who the English might not know too much about is returning second-five Sonny Bill Williams, who has the potential to run all over a midfield which was in disarray in Hamilton.
Hansen said: "We think Sonny brings something pretty unique."