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Thursday 13 December 2018

Read promises to bring the heat

New Zealand’s Kieran Read is expecting an “awesome test match”
New Zealand’s Kieran Read is expecting an “awesome test match”

Kieran Read set the scene for what is certain to be a brutal battle between the world champions and the next best nation.

The Irish will be focused on meeting the challenge head-on in front of their passionate supporters.

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of emotion, a lot of heat out here," Read said, pitch-side at the Aviva Stadium.

"That is what you want to see when two big teams come up against each other.

"I think it will be an awesome test match, one I'm looking forward to."

In 2016, it was Ireland's set-piece and maul that made all the difference in Chicago, the All Blacks returning serve with unreal physicality back at The Aviva two weeks later.

There will probably be much of the same again with Ireland driving the edges and New Zealand turning them back from where they come from.

"Physicality and intensity wins test matches. We're going to have to be right up in that area," said the captain.

"We're going to need the best performance of our season, I think, the way the Irish have been playing.

"We're going to go out there and give it our all." The All Blacks have come locked and loaded for the second last test match of their season.

"It's been on the calendar for a while, I guess twelve months," said Read.

"It's an exciting time for any game when you come across to this part of the world. These teams are playing really well and the Irish are undoubtedly the best side up here, at the moment."

Unlike the Irish, New Zealand had no last-minute hiccups, all their men coming through the Captain's Run in fine fettle.

Read was not slow about letting the hosts know Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock and company will be coming after Ireland's lineout ball.

"We've certainly done our homework on their lineout," he stated.

"They've been fairly strong over the course of the last 6-12 months. But, there's always opportunities.

"For us, we will just pride ourselves on getting in the air, hopefully trying to disrupt as much as we can," he continued.

There is what the All Blacks can do out of touch and there is what they can do on the floor at the breakdown.

"You've got to be patient. Discipline is going to be crucial. When we get the chances to get the ball back, we have to do that."

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