All Blacks all geared up for all important clash
“Right now, there’s more pressure within the group. It’s do or die, now or never, I suppose,” Retallick, said. “It would be good just to go to Saturday right now and not have to bother about the rest of the week. But we’ll build well and there are a few things we didn’t get right on attack, that we’ll get sorted. There’s a lot riding on it.”
Retallick, whose monumental effort in the All Blacks’ engine room helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test at Eden Park, said the Lions had raised the physicality stakes in game two.
“The physicality and intensity of the first two matches have been huge,” he added.
“Especially on their behalf, I thought they were a lot more physical and confrontational than in week one.
“We need to sort that out and make sure we’re going back at it this Saturday because we can’t let it happen again.”
Half-back Smith was also itching to get back out on to the pitch.
“It’s what you play rugby for, these big games,” he said.
“I could play today, that’s how ready I am. These are the ones you remember and it’s going to be a long week in prep but it’ll all be worth it if we get the processes right to go out and play our brand of footy.”
Smith praised the effort of his pack after they were forced to face up to the Lions with a man down for 55 minutes after the personnel reshuffle in the wake of the dismissal of Sonny Bill Williams.
He said the All Blacks, held try-less in a Test for the first time since 2014, had been “disappointed” with failing to do better in unleashing their attack. “They really fronted up on defence and closed up that tight space,” he added. “We didn’t react well to that. There was actually a lot more space than we thought and we maybe didn’t adapt as well as hoped.
“We usually find a way and our bench comes on and finishes really strong but that’s all about learning. There are opportunities there and they’ll be there Saturday, so we’ve got to be good enough to see them and take them.”
The sides will name their respective teams on Thursday. – Reuters