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All Blacks want to raise their game

2015-09-28 19:29
Dan Carter (Getty)

Cardiff - The All Blacks have gone back to school as they look to lift their game against the unknown threat of Georgia on Friday.

The defending champions have not been overly thrilled with they way they performed in their opening games -- wins over Argentina and Namibia.

Georgia, whom they've never played before, have a win over Tonga and a loss to Argentina so far and impressed in both matches with a powerful forward pack led by Toulon backrow warrior Mamuka "Gorgodzilla" Gordodze.

All Blacks playmaker Dan Carter said their strategic committee system is in full swing, learning everything they can about the Georgians so they are ready for any eventuality.

"It's time we stepped up now. We're in a position where we're a third game into this tournament and it's time we improved as a team and that's including myself," said Carter.

The reigning world champions are in the seemingly weakest pool of the competition and coach Steve Hansen has said they do not want to be underdone when it comes to the play-offs.

After giving all his players, except for the injured Waisake Naholo and Liam Messam, a run in the first two games, Hansen is said he will bed in his top side over their remaining pool games against Georgia and Tonga.

They have set up player committees to pore over hours of video of Georgian matches so they can avoid any slip ups.

"We have a group that has a good look at the way they like to defend and opportunities where we can attack them, and we'll have a defence group that look at the way the team that we're coming up against like to attack," Carter said.

"They put clips together for the whole team to look at and they present to the team to effectively get our game plan for the way we want to play."

Flanker Sam Cane, who deputised for Richie McCaw as skipper in the Namibia match, said it was important for the All Blacks, who like to play with speed and width, that they did not let Georgia slow the pace of the game down.

"If you haven't played a team it's pretty tough to work out what they're going to do," he said.

"We go into a game planning to do our stuff but we plan to do it the best we can, but it doesn't always work out that way so a lot of adjusting has to be done on the field and fix it on the go."

One thing for certain, Georgia will try to make the most of their forward pack and the All Blacks have already marked that as one area they have to be ready for.

"They've got a tough and gnarly forward pack and they love to maul, scrum, pick and go. So I'll expect them to try and come through there," Cane said.

"They might want to go from set piece to set piece and we'll have to try to find ways to minimise that."

Flyhalf Carter, asked if he was concerned at the prospect of Gorgodze bearing down on him, said he was expecting his forwards to block that possibility.

"Hopefully our forwards will do the job and make it a lot tougher for him to run freely. Hopefully he will be having to go back before he comes forward.

"But he is an awesome player and being able to see what he's been capable of in the first couple of games he's a real weapon in their side."

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