Rugby Championship

Coping with French defence key for All Blacks - Ryan Crotty

2018-06-06 08:50
Ryan Crotty (Getty Images)

Cape Town - All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty believes the world champions must be on top of their skill sets if they were to put France under pressure and to score points in their upcoming three-Test series in New Zealand. 

Crotty said the All Blacks were aware of how good the French were in the Six Nations where they had been best in the tournament for least tries conceded, line breaks conceded and tackle percentage. 

"We have to do what we do really well, nail and execute under pressure," he told the All Blacks' official website. 

"That's always been a big thing for the All Blacks and we're going to have to be spot on with our game plan this week. 

"It's going to have to be sharp because they're very talented defensively." 

While there had been increased exposure to the line speed method of defence in Super Rugby, the French used it differently and there would be a need to adapt to that difference. 

As always the backline threat on attack spread through the line. 

"They're a team of athletes and that's much the same in the midfield with (Mathieu) Bastereaud and (Wesley) Fofana when he's there," added Crotty. 

"They've got great footwork, great skill sets, they can off-load and can play what they see and that just means you're going to have to be on your game defensively. 

"You have to nail your alignment, you have to nail your tackle execution and if you do those things right you can shut the game down."

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