All Blacks feel the pressure
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: All Black prop Owen Franks says he and his teammates feel the pressure heading into their much-anticipated second encounter with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
New Zealand suffered their first loss to Ireland in 111 years when they went down 29-40 at Soldier Field in Chicago two weeks ago. On Saturday, they will have the challenge of facing the same opponents in front of some passionate Irish support in Dublin.
"It's Test rugby, there's pressure no matter who you're playing, where you're playing, so that's always there and as long as there's Test rugby it will be there," Franks told allblacks.com.
Franks said the loss in Chicago is not weighing too much on his mind and he was not surprised by Ireland's performance.
"There's pressure on us to perform better than we did last time, and better as individuals...there's always pressure, that's what you play for," he said.
He added: "I don't think we were caught off-guard, they just capitalised really well.
"They were good enough to capitalise on the mistakes we made and punish us for them. I don't think we were under any illusions that they weren't going to be that good because obviously the Test we played in 2013 they almost beat us then as well.
"Any time where you don't perform to your best, or put your best effort out there it's more for yourself. It wasn't Ireland's fault that we played bad."
Meanwhile, Lock Samuel Whitelock said he was feeling good after being out for a while with an ankle injury.
"There's some things I haven't done yet so once I get into that I will know how it is and whereabouts I am," Whitelock said.