Japan head coach Jamie Joseph took a cheeky swipe at the All Blacks as he suggested that his players will come up against a better side in England.
New Zealand beat Japan at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday, although the Brave Blossoms came close to claiming a famous victory as the All Blacks had just seven points to spare at full time.
Both sides will head to Europe for test matches in the coming weeks, as Japan take on England and France, while New Zealand will play Wales, Scotland and England.
Joseph, who won 20 caps for New Zealand and now coaches Japan, told Sky Sport NZ that his players can expect to face a greater challenge against England.
Jamie Joseph on the All Blacks’ decline.
“The key for us really is to go to England now and replicate that performance against a better side,” Joseph said.
“Everyone is thinking about the All Blacks, and that’s part of their armour, really. Having played for the All Blacks, one of the things we used to talk about 25 years ago was that everyone was a wee bit scared of us.
“Perhaps that’s not the case anymore; I’m not sure… We [Japan] just made too many mistakes at the wrong time. Everything else around the game in terms of how we wanted to play and what we needed to do is really really good.”
We broke the records! 🤩
Todays attendance of 65,188 is officially the largest attendance of a Japan domestic test match outside of #RWC2019
— Japan Rugby (@JRFURugby) October 29, 2022
New Zealand remain under pressure.
The pressure on the All Blacks has certainly eased since they suffered a test series defeat to Ireland back in July, as they clinched The Rugby Championship title and have now won four games in a row.
New Zealand’s performance against Japan was far from convincing however, and head coach Ian Foster will be well aware that his side will need to be better in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, All Blacks captain Sam Cane and experienced hooker Dane Coles have been ruled out of the European tour due to injury, while former World Rugby player of the year Brodie Retallick is expected to be unavailable due to suspension.