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New Dad Coles seeks atonement in Dublin

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/11/2016 Angelo Risso

All Blacks rake Dane Coles is in the bad books at home, but he'd better hope he stays out of trouble with coach Steve Hansen too.

The 29-year-old, on tour with the Test side, became a father for the second time last Thursday when wife Sarah gave birth to young Reef Nicholas.

Being in Rome at the time, Coles was unable to attend the birth or help his sleepless wife care for the newborn baby and older son Jax.

Furthermore, he was 18,500km away when earthquakes struck the family's home base of Wellington on Monday morning (NZDT).

It was a sacrifice many All Blacks with children had to make to keep representing their country.

"He's healthy and keeping Mum awake, so I'm in the bad books for a while, until I get home," Coles told reporters.

But in the short-term, the Hurricanes skipper will be looking for drastic on-field improvement when New Zealand take on Ireland for the second time in three weeks on Saturday.

Coles threw three unsuccessful lineouts in the first half in Chicago, as his side eventually went down 40-29 and ended their record 18-match winning streak.

He admitted he let himself down in the Windy City, and was keen to make amends in Dublin after sitting out the side's thumping of Italy.

The re-addition of towering second-row duo Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock for the revenge mission would also give him safe pairs of hands to pinpoint.

"I've got to make sure I improve that for Saturday because a few of those darts, they got a lot of confidence from them and scored a few points," Coles said.

"I probably overcooked it a bit in the first Test but I've been throwing pretty good this year, so one bad lineout doesn't make you a bad thrower."

The atmosphere around Dublin has steadily reached fever pitch this week as the All Blacks look to remind the gritty Irish who's boss.

But Coles, who has taken part in every Test this year until Rome, said he'd look to keep a cool head as Saturday approaches.

"I'm not getting too overexcited, the way I play, if I did that, I might be sitting on the sideline for a couple minutes," Coles said.

"So it's making sure I get the balance right and keep that edge in place."

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