Are the All Blacks the ultimate KISS?

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James Mortimer     19 Aug 2013     Getty Images

Of course there were dropped balls and unforced mistakes, but many aspects of how the All Blacks played, the very application of ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’, were examples of a team executing plans but more importantly doing the exact thing that the coaches, trainers and gurus have been drilling into the players.

Not only were the All Blacks striving to keep it simple, but looked for simple mistakes.

The All Blacks observed their opposition like a hawk, with the first try to Ben Smith a case of James O’Connor shifting to the openside defensively, allowing the defending title holders for The Investec Rugby Championship to shift the ball to create the space for the eventual three-try scorer to stroll over.

That same simple but accurate ball passing saw Tony Woodcock and Owen Franks form the first chain as the All Blacks played to their now obvious template, recycling possession with pace that allows quick movement out wide, and four Tests into 2013 it appears that if anything Hansen and co want to take this to the next level from last season.

As Franks took the ball into contact, the platform was set with a centring ruck near the goalposts, and again the KISS principle was in full display, as the movement started by the props led to Conrad Smith calmly drawing his man, Israel Dagg playing hot potato with the pill, before wingman Ben crossed over.

There were components of a basic attacking training manual in every All Blacks try scored, while they never looked to cross the line as an individual.

There was team work in every play.

The Wallabies and their canny coach promised plenty to keep the All Blacks guessing, but ultimately the World Champions did little to try and confuse their opponents.

For them it was just business as usual as they went about their preparation.

Ewen McKenzie paid this respect when he noted more than once post match that he and his team knew what the All Blacks would do, knew what the number one ranked team was capable of.

But stopping it on the field is another thing altogether, as the All Blacks, who were faced with not one but two selection changes during the week, kept their philosophy and approach simple.

Nothing too fancy, not many complications.

The coaches will be planning, and hoping, for more of the simple same.