All Blacks looking to rectify lineouts

The Rugby Championship
by Myles Stedman

New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick says he and his forward pack are determined to fix the lineout issues that plagued them against the British and Irish Lions.

The usually rock solid All Blacks had a perfect lineout record in the 2016 Rugby Championship, but were disrupted by the Lions in June, finishing with just 86.1 per cent lineout success.

“I think we had our worst series in terms of lineouts that we’ve had in a number of years, so that’s obviously something that we’ve looked at this week,” Retallick said.

“There was a little bit of communication breakdown, we just didn’t know our roles, so it’s been a huge focus of getting together and getting back to the standard we know we’re capable of, and our timing.

"As a forward pack we’ve got high expectations of ourselves to get the lineout right, it’s certainly an area that’s highly contested these days, so we’re always trying to put pressure on the opposition.”

The All Blacks made a statement in Sydney. Photo: Getty ImagesRetallick made mention of the synergy of the All Blacks' tight five, and how valuable that trait is.

“The whole forward pack/tight five, no matter who it is, has been here for a few years now, it helps us reconnect and get on the same page a lot quicker," he said.

"We know what we’re all about as individuals, and we know where we want to get to, so that’s the biggest positive of playing with the same people now for a few years.”

The 64-cap second rower also praised his opposite number for Australia, Adam Coleman, who has emerged as the Wallabies' lineout leader in the past 12 months.

“In the lineout, and his ball-carrying, he’s very physical, he runs some great lines, so I’ve got huge respect for Adam as a lock and as a forward, and I think over the last couple of seasons he’s come a long way," he said.

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks on Saturday night, kicking off at 8pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, WIN and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.