All Blacks legend John Kirwan is confident that the Southern Hemisphere countries will exact revenge on their northern counterparts in July.
The Northern Hemisphere had the last laugh in the final weekend of the Autumn Nations Series, as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina all tasted defeat at the hands of their European rivals.
It certainly wasn’t all one-way traffic during autumn, but out of the 13 matches played between Six Nations and Rugby Championship sides, the Europeans came out on top on eight occasions.
Kirwan was speaking on Sky Sport NZ’s The Breakdown and argued that the Southern Hemisphere sides would dispose of their northern rivals in July, while acknowledging that the All Blacks need to change elements of their game plan.
John Kirwan on the ‘fatigued’ Southern Hemisphere sides.
“We need to now start saying, ‘What do we need to look at?’ So the positives – we had the best record for the Southern Hemisphere teams during this covid time. Everyone was fatigued,” Kirwan said.
“South Africa lost five times, Australia lost seven times, Argentina lost nine times. We also know, and this is being really cold about it, we know that when the Northern Hemisphere come here in July we kick their butts. That just happens, so that’s all cool.
“But the reality for me is this; our attack is predictable and I think we need to show some innovation and change there. We don’t do well when the fast line speed is against us and I think we need to look at our individual skills under pressure.
“I think we got our kicking game wrong. I think Jordie Barrett had a stand out season, I think he’s probably our number 15, but I think our counter attack and our kicking game we need to take a big, strong review of it.”
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— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 21, 2021
Mouth-watering test series await next July.
The best teams from north and south won’t meet against until next July in a number of three-match test series which will take place on southern soil.
Ireland will travel to New Zealand to take on the All Blacks over three matches, England will face old foes Australia down under, Wales will play against the Springboks in South Africa, while Scotland will play Los Pumas, in what will be Argentina’s first home games in almost three years if all goes according to plan.
France will remain in the Northern Hemisphere to play Japan three times in the land of the rising sun, while Italy are set to tour the Americas with games against Canada, the USA and Argentina.
The southern giants will be eager to face European opposition on home soil, but the northerners can take plenty of confidence from a number of excellent victories this autumn.