My fault says honest Hore

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NZPA     25 Jul 2009     Getty Images

It was a disturbing display from the New Zealand set piece considering they must combat the best lineout in the world when the y face South Africa in the second Investec Tri Nations Test on Sunday morning (NZT).

Hore, who hadn't played since injuring his ribs early in the first test of the season against France, took full ownership for the mishaps which dogged them in the first half at Auckland.

"The first couple of lineouts I just overthrew them and that probably rattled us a little bit," he told NZPA.

"Myself, I lost a bit of composure. It was my first game back for a while so hopefully I can sort that out and get back on the horse I suppose and back my confidence."

New Zealand's player of the year in 2008, Hore is under pressure for the No 2 jersey from veteran rake Keven Mealamu, whose vintage form on last year's season-ending tour has continued.

Hore's general play was impressive in an All Blacks pack that gradually took control in the 22-16 win.

His lineout work, however, has chequered past although the 30-year-old has a history of admitting to any failings.

It dates back to the first of his 36 tests, at Twickenham in 2002, when he blamed himself for a botched attacking lineout in the final minute as England held on to win 31-28.

Hore was much happier with the scrum work at Au ckland, where loosehead Tony Woodcock showed a welcome return to form.

An all-Sharks front row this weekend would be a major test.

South African captain John Smit has switched smoothly to tighthead prop, making room for hooker Bismarck du Plessis. Loosehead prop Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira was a star for the Springboks in the first-test defeat of the British and Irish Lions last month -- scrunching opposite Phil Vickery.

"They had a fairly good day in the first test and then it probably evened out a little bit in the second couple," Hore said of the Lions series scrum war.

"Beast has just grown into the player he is. He's a pretty special player, he's come a long way.

"It's funny, some days you have great days and then the next week everyone's looked at what you did.

"You've got to have more than one trick, I suppose."