Ireland to target Cruden
Ireland to target CrudenSHARE
Ireland backline coach Les Kiss believes his side can target All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden in a effort to unsettle the team.
Cruden will be under a great deal of pressure and scrutiny wearing Dan Carter's rather large boots and is the obvious target for the Irish. If the visitors are able to throw the 23-year-old off his game that might give them an edge in the match.
"I think if we can do the right things in terms of the space that we give him [Cruden] – and if we want to give him more space or less space depending on how we want to approach it – I think that's the key," Kiss told AFP.
The experience coach has carefully analyses Cruden's performances this year for the Chiefs in an effort to pick out any weaknesses his team might be able to exploit.
The third Test is in Hamilton at Waikato Stadium where Cruden has been in hot form for the Chiefs this year, and he will also have Super Rugby teammates Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam and Sam Cane around him to offer a degree of familiarity in his starting role for the All Blacks.
Kiss has identified a few areas that might offer Ireland's defence an insight on how Cruden will want to operate.
"It's important to understand what his strengths are and areas that might challenge him a little bit, and we've gone through some footage for sure," Kiss explained.
"I know the Chiefs, on a five-man defence, they put him out wide, second to last defender.
"But they didn't do that (in the World Cup), he stayed in the near channel so I think they'll probably stick to what the All Blacks do and keep him in the close channel because they'll back him in defence."