Been trying to work out why the new look Kiwis look so different, and why their game is a lot more Australian in its DNA.
The main difference is the way the forwards play.
Kiwi teams of the past relied heavily on one ball playing forward like McGahan, Nikau, Kearney
, Lauitiiti, Pritchard, Williams and others to create their attack through 2nd phase.
The problem of course is that it brands our game as a fifty fifty risk style of football.
And this comes about because the pack struggles with parity around the ruck, largely caused by the best international packs using line speed (Australia) or Manhandling in the wrestle (England/Brittish Lions) or being backed up by heavy contact (Tonga/Samoa).
So the first thing you notice is the Kiwi forwards dominate the ruck through their no nonsense straight running, no stupid offload (the old guard Jesse Bromwich threw one and turned over possession, his expression said it all, put the dumb old Kiwis away son).
These forwards all have footwork, so they're winning a running game, a fast and more importantly mistake free ruck.
The rest is pretty obvious, you have accurate backs, a lot of speed out wide, Dylan Brown backing up, a matching world class pair at half and hooker.
Our left edge defence will need to communicate better, their numbering is suspect.
Otherwise things look rosey, you have a Kiwi side that is sporting what could be it's finest pack ever.
The I.Q. factor of our engine room was always a weakness.
They look faster in the backrow than anything I can remember.
The passing two wide of the ruck in a shaped formation is new and very Australian, no fear of standing deep, no fear of anything.
Also our spine understands the tempo.
Fast team, fast ruck, fast reactions.
Gone are the days of Shaun Johnson
and Benji standing around when NZ wins possession and there is a stoppage.
One of our biggest weaknesses has been giving opponents time to reset on every breakdown.
There is nothing special in our kicking game, just simple fast and professional league.
The test will come when they are playing from behind and being constantly frustrated.
Hopefully they learned from last night that they are built for that type of test match intensity and they can pressure anyone for long periods and give themselves every chance of exploiting cracks in the opposition....Ala Australia