Wellington - All Blacks flank Sam Cane has revealed that the
world champions be looking to achieve some elusive aspects of their game-plan
against France in Paris on Saturday.
Cane said they had been working on things and were getting
them about 80 percent right but if they could get some of those small things to
work, whether it was someone working a bit harder to get back in place or
someone else looking up and seeing space, they would get there and hopefully
that would be seen at the weekend.
Some of the things they were working on had been seen
between the training week and the Barbarians game last weekend and they were
hopeful of more improvement against France, he said.
While France had been struck by injuries, New Zealand had
also and it would be about the players who were chosen and how they fronted
that mattered on Saturday, he said.
"Knowing the French sides that I've played in the past,
and watched, whoever puts on that jersey to play the All Blacks will
front," Cane told the All Blacks' official website.
"We're not getting sucked into any of this injury carry
on. I know that they will come out firing."
Midfield back Ryan Crotty said while France have 16 reported
players out with injury the All Blacks would still prepare in their usual
weekly routine. There would be some study done of individuals but the All
Blacks expected France would play in the way they always had with their flair
and free-flowing rugby and off-loads.
"No matter what backs are there, they always have good
footwork and express themselves in the way they play rugby so that's French
rugby and that's what we're going to expect on Saturday night," he
Crotty said he last played against big French mid-field
Mathieu Bastareaud in age-group rugby and he had been a big player then.
"He could potentially be playing there and if I got the
opportunity to play against him it could be pretty exciting and a tough
match-up," he added.
Crotty said he thrived on playing at Stade de France because
of the atmosphere it generated. He recalled that last year the French had held
onto the ball for long phases, and they were conscious of that for this
And one of the challenges would be preparing ways to try and
get the ball back by being more dominant on defence, attacking the breakdown
and knowing their defensive roles.