All Blacks sweat on Dagg

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 12:33
He's sore. How long it will take we'll have to see

Fullback Israel Dagg is the only injury concern for the All Blacks ahead of their clash with Italy this weekend.

Dagg left the field just before half-time in the 51-22 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield after falling heavily and his progress will be moitored closely this week.

Young Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett replaced Dagg at Murrayfield and performed well, whilst the versatile Ben Smith will also be considered as an option to start at fullback if Dagg does not recover in time.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said they would take special care with Dagg.

"We don't know completely how bad it is, but he fell from a great height and landed on his buttocks as Mr Gump would say.

"He's sore. How long it will take we'll have to see," he said.

Although satsified with the victory margin All Blacks captain Richie McCaw admitted that they did not handle Scotland's kicking game well enough.

"We were pretty frustrated with that to be honest," McCaw said. "We didn't react well to where they were kicking the ball."

McCaw said reacting efficiently, especially on opposition kick-offs, was crucial, as he said that was the time when sides needed to make sure they were not caught off guard.

"That's (our catching) something for us to work on because traditionally when you score points that is when team's drop their guard so we need to sort that out," he said.

"They scored a try just before half-time off our missed kick-off really."

"So that is where the pressure came from and then I thought at the start of the second half we played too much rugby in our own 30 and then we made a couple of mistakes and all of a sudden, down to 14 men, we were under more pressure again."

"Perhaps we were not smart in that part of the game," he said.