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Motivated All Blacks gunning for Ireland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/11/2016 Angelo Risso

Kieran Read of the All Blacks is tackled during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at the Westmanstown Sports Complex on November 15, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Kieran Read of the All Blacks is tackled during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at the Westmanstown Sports Complex on November 15, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. Edge, electricity, intensity, spark, spice.

Call it what you will, the All Blacks reckon they have it by the truckload this week as they prepare for their revenge mission against Ireland.

The sides meet in Dublin on Saturday having crossed paths just a fortnight ago in Chicago, where the Irish emerged surprise 40-29 winners.

Their first victory in 111 years of trying, Ireland's achievement has rankled the world champions, who were out-played and out-manoeuvred in a clumsy performance on US soil.

Irish playmaker Johnny Sexton's kicking game was spot on in the Windy City, while his side deployed a precise set-piece game to dominate the lineout and build driving mauls.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster told reporters on Tuesday his side were champing at the bit to remind the world of their ability, having just crushed Italy 68-10 in Rome.

There was a sense of anticipation around the camp not seen since the knockout stages of last year's World Cup campaign.

"These are great weeks, there's an edge in the air and we love preparing for big Tests," Foster said.

"Their supporters are amazing and what happened in Chicago has added a little more seasoning to it, so the boys are in a good spot."

New Zealand rested a number of key players for their win in the Italian capital, giving inexperienced and fringe squad members the chance to shine.

However the All Blacks coaching staff are expected to bring their big guns back into the fold for Saturday's Test, including veteran blindside Jerome Kaino.

Kaino, 33, struggled in an unfamiliar second row position against Ireland a fortnight ago but is likely to pull the No.6 jumper back on this time around.

The Blues enforcer said he and other senior All Blacks always tried to instil a zest for the big occasion into their troops, but were helped by the circumstances.

The potential return of lock Sam Whitelock from an ankle injury, after he moved freely in training on Tuesday, would also stabilise the side's lineout.

"That loss has just added a little spice to the edge we've got this week again," Kaino said.

"We always try and create an uncomfortable feeling within the group so we prepare as well as we can."

Ireland are expected to make their own changes, having also rested a number of key regulars in last weekend's 52-21 victory over Canada in Dublin.

Flanker Jordi Murphy's serious knee injury is expected to reopen the door for stalwart Sean O'Brien, a player Kaino considered the spearhead of Ireland's physicality.

Kaino expected Ireland to once again provide a major challenge at the breakdown and set-piece.

"Predicting O'Brien might be in the mix there somewhere, he's very abrasive, a strong runner of the ball and handler, strong over the ball, fetching," Kaino said.

Foster echoed his 76-cap flanker's thoughts, saying the two sides' respective game plans would not change considerably.

The difference would be made how the plans are carried out on the park.

"Everyone prepares a plan, but it's often what the opposition allows you to play that determines where that plan goes in the 80 minutes," Foster said.

"You go into battle and adjust accordingly."

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