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Retallick and Tamanivalu called up as All Blacks lick their wounds on way to Rome

Steve Hansen defended Jerome Kaino’s performance after a tough day for the second row.

Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from Chicago

WITH ITALY NEXT up before New Zealand got a chance to avenge their Soldier Field defeat against Ireland, the All Black ranks will be bolstered by the return of second row Brodie Retallick.

The lock missed the US trip with concussion, but has begun the journey north and should see some minutes against the Azzuri.

In the absence of Retallick and Sam Whitelock, head coach Steve Hansen selected Jerome Kaino to start an international Test in the second row for the very first time. The move turned out to be seriously detrimental as Devin Toner and Donnacha Ryan commanded that area of the field with Ireland’s maul a continual threat to the black defence.

Asked whether Kaino remained a viable option to cover the position, Hansen suggested he would make the call again, if only in an emergency.

We probably won’t have to because Brodie’s on the plane and he’s available for Italy if we need him. And Scotty (Barrett)’s now had a taste of it, and the longer he’s here the better he’s going to get. But if we had to go back there we probably would.”

Indeed, Hansen turned some of the heat for the misfiring set-piece away from Kaino and on to hooker Dane Coles. Though he quickly added that the Hurricanes front row would not take long to recover from the dip in form.

“(Kaino) scrummed well, the line-out wasn’t his problem, it was a throwing problem.

“Colesy’s been throwing well all year, so we’re not going to lose too much sleep over that, we’ll get him sorted pretty quickly.

“That middle of the park role was new to (Kaino) and he probably over-thought it a wee bit, therefore didn’t carry as strongly as he possibly could. But before the match you’d say that would be his strength, and the other thing, I think the young fella (Scott Barrett) came on and played really.

Scott Barrett scores their third try Scott Barrett twists to seal a brilliant finish. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

“It’s about making sure in the long-term he gets that opportunity to play well. You wouldn’t want him to come on and have a really hard first half and lose his confidence.

So while he came on and did really well, do we know if he’d have done that in the first half? Don’t know under the circumstances. So I’m still happy with the decision we made.”

Midfield is another area Hansen will have to think long and hard about before going to Dublin for a 19 November Test.

The first-half hamstring injury suffered by Ryan Crotty will see him sidelined beyond the return clash with Ireland. So Seta Tamanivalu – who will move from the Chiefs to the Crusaders next year – will vacate his place on the Barbarians tour in the hope of building on his three All Black caps.

The November international window is wide open.

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Sean Farrell

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