Sean Cronin backs Joe Schmidt to sink All Blacks for second time

Leinster hooker Sean Cronin started in Saturday's eight-try win over Canada at the Aviva Stadium
Leinster hooker Sean Cronin started in Saturday's eight-try win over Canada at the Aviva Stadium

Ireland hooker Sean Cronin says coach Joe Schmidt will want Ireland to attack New Zealand on Saturday.

The Irish beat the All Blacks for the first time in Chicago on 5 November.

A stronger New Zealand line-up will be seeking revenge in Dublin, but Cronin says Schmidt can make his side the first to claim successive wins over the Kiwis since South Africa in 2009.

"There's no better man than Joe to put together a game plan to go and attack them this week," said the hooker.

"I'm sure Joe has been in the think-tank with the rest of the coaches devising something special for us."

Schmidt is renowned for his attention to detail, but Cronin accepts that Ireland will need an entirely fresh approach if they are to beat the world champions again.

The world champions - who had recorded 18 consecutive wins before losing to the Irish - will field a vastly different side at the Aviva Stadium.

"The All Blacks have got world-class players in Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock to come back into the second row, possibly moving Jerome Kaino to the back row where he's been fantastic for years," Cronin said.

"It's a different team coming to the Aviva, so that's an area the coaches will have to look at. It's got to be a different mentality, depending on their selection.

"As long as we get the attitude right, the physicality and the mentality, we know we can match anyone."

Ireland have a clean hill of health with Iain Henderson fit again after a shoulder problem.

Munster duo Dave Kilcoyne and Darren Sweetnam have been released back to their club.

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