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Kaino keen to make amends in Dublin

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/11/2016 Angelo Risso

<span style="font-size:13px;">All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino is likely to return to blindside against Ireland this weekend and is keen to atone for last fortnight's loss in Chicago.</span> © Getty Images All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino is likely to return to blindside against Ireland this weekend and is keen to atone for last fortnight's loss in Chicago. All Blacks blindside Jerome Kaino tried in vain for 44 minutes a fortnight ago to be Brodie Retallick.

So, this weekend, he's going to go back to being Jerome Kaino.

The 33-year-old Blues stalwart lined up in an unorthodox second-row position against Ireland in Chicago, as his side were surprisingly trumped 40-29.

Conceding three lineout steals in the first half alone, the All Blacks looked shorn of confidence at the set-piece and failed to contain the Irish driving maul.

So Kaino, having sat out last week's 68-10 thumping of Italy, told reporters he was champing at the bit to get out in Dublin and make amends for his performance.

But perhaps not in the second row.

"I needed to probably focus on the basics instead of focussing on other things I needed to do," Kaino said on Tuesday.

"I tried to be Brodie Retallick, he dominates in those areas by just doing the basics well and first things first, and maybe I overlooked that."

Retallick, sitting alongside Kaino, smirked upon hearing the dual world champion's thoughts.

After making a comeback from concussion in Rome, the 204cm Chiefs pillar is likely to return to the starting XV against Ireland, allowing Kaino to return to blindside.

Incumbent locking partner Sam Whitelock may also return from an ankle complaint, having moved freely in training on Tuesday.

"It's pretty much good for the confidence, being able to put your head back into some dark places and not get a headache," the 25-year-old Retallick said.

"We probably let ourselves down a wee bit in Chicago and we want to come here and rectify that, so we've got to take control of the physical battle."

Kaino said the very sight of Retallick and Whitelock working in tandem gave his side extra confidence to perform on the big stage.

The towering pair, who have a combined 140 caps, also provided much-needed leadership.

"It's huge for us, just their experience but also with the lineouts, how secure they are, kick-offs and at the breakdown," Kaino said.

The All Blacks' camp in the Dublin suburb of Castleknock has been awash with enthusiasm as the chance to gain revenge on the Irish grows near.

Kaino said he was expecting a similar challenge to that which his side experienced in Chicago, with an attacking Irish line-up battling for dominance at the breakdown and set-piece.

The re-addition of flanker Sean O'Brien after a hamstring complaint would make the side even stronger, he said.

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