AB's revisit '07 in rehearsal

2011-09-20 13:23

Christchurch - The All Blacks wound the clock back four years Tuesday, re-creating scenes from their last World Cup debacle as they stepped up preparations for a showdown with France on Saturday.

The focus was on targetting the French strengths and shutting down Morgan Parra the scrum-half who has been surprisingly selected to replace Francois Trinh-Duc at fly-half.

The All Blacks have a score to settle with France who tipped them out of the quarter-finals 20-18 at Cardiff in 2007 and there's grim resolve not to let that happen again.

Training in secret at a rugby field surrounded by a high fence and with security guards posted outside, the All Blacks ran through moves they believe France will use and practised how to counter them.

For many of the survivors of the failed '07 campaign it was the first time they had revisited that game as they went over what went wrong in Cardiff and worked on not making the same mistakes again.

"We know we're going into a big battle," said scrum-half Andy Ellis at the end of training.

France were scratchy in their two wins so far in New Zealand against Japan and Canada but the All Blacks were bracing for an intense clash, particularly in the forwards.

"It's going to be physical, a lot of intensity, a team like France play with a lot of passion and emotion," said Ellis.

"Their style of play maybe slightly different to what we're used to and we're adapating to that. We ran some of what we think they are going to bring to us. We ran it out there, it is slightly different.

"Part of the training was expect the unexpected. They're very skilful players, jinky steps, a lot of offloads and they're all the stuff we practised in training."

There was also a concentration on the skills Parra would bring to the pivotal number 10 slot, a position he has not played in for nearly three years.

"I won't let too much of that out, but (Parra is) very skilful, a very good pass as well."

Hooker Keven Mealamu, who like Ellis did not take the field for the last World Cup match against France, said memories of the loss had been put out of mind for four years until now.

"For a lot of us pretty much haven't spoken about it since. But for us to move foward it's good to see where we went wrong and how we can improve. We went through scenarios -- this is actually what happened out there," he said.

"To actually go through it and say this is exactly what happened and this is how we could have approached it better and could have fixed it out there we'll be better for the experiences."

The All Blacks have been training in Christchurch since Saturday while on a goodwill tour to the earthquake-stricken city which had to give up the seven World Cup matches.

The team will return to Auckland on Wednesday and the squad to play France will be named the following day.

Both sides have a maximum 10 points from winning their first two games and the winner on Saturday is virtually assured of topping Pool A.


  • Maori - 2011-09-20 13:50

    Let us learn from the lessons of history! Go ALL BLACKS!!

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-09-20 14:13

      Well they didn't learn from 95, 99 and 03....perhaps they took something from 2007? Do you think Ted has decided who his best 15 is yet? His best 11? His best 14? His best 9? Just asking.

      jk - 2011-09-20 14:19

      nz best 15 is the team that SA played against in NZ this year, with bill coming in somewhere...

      Will99 - 2011-09-20 14:43

      You can ad 2011 to your list of hard lessons...

      Hot - 2011-09-20 14:46

      The ALL BLACKS will win this one comfortably...

      RandomDude - 2011-09-20 16:37

      Agree with you jk that was their best 15

      Neilson - 2011-09-20 21:47

      Yes put the loss nicely and squarely into the teams memory. As they will feel it again this year. Maybe France, maybe not, but the final they will never see.

      Jones01 - 2011-09-20 21:51

      i think the boks needs to worry about the Aus, Remember the 3 nat last year. When last did the boks beat the aus. Must say i think the aus are going to the semi's.

      Jason de Villiers - 2011-09-21 02:15

      @SAFFA CAT.What do you actually know about rugby?As I understand,you are a woman!Have you ever played the game?I seriously doubt that you know what actually happens during a rugby match.Please stop making sniping comments at the all blacks,clearly you are terrified of the springboks facing them.

      jk - 2011-09-21 08:11

      jason- in the defence of saffa, her rugby knowledge is very good for a women, just follow her for a while and then judge... she can still learn alot from JK, but shes up there...

      zane.blignaut - 2011-09-21 08:15 enough said!!!!

  • Riaan Maree - 2011-09-20 14:17

    Come on, VIVA LE FRANCE!!!

  • AmandaWhereTo - 2011-09-20 14:18

    France by 88!!!

  • jk - 2011-09-20 14:21

    NZ to win on saturday...

      Eugene van der Merwe - 2011-09-20 14:24

      ???????????? what happened to France by 8?

      jk - 2011-09-20 14:34

      van der merwe- dis vir die finaal nie jy wen die groep game en wen nie die beker nie...

      Milkman - 2011-09-20 15:03

      france by 8

  • Will99 - 2011-09-20 14:42

    I also remember 2007... the look on the AB's faces after the 80min!

  • Dr. No - 2011-09-20 14:45

    If this report is accurate (they seldom are ) then the Kiwis are overthinking this one, the French had a poor showing in six nations, and so far a poor showing in the RWC. I think the Kiwis should just stick to their game plan and they will win comfortably, without the need for all this drama (private practice sessions, security etc). Besides will it be so bad for them to lose to the French now, if they did they would not have to face the Boks who will happily dispatch with the frogs on their behalf in the semis and they would have a chance at redemption for 95'

      RandomDude - 2011-09-20 16:42

      This is the WC , Ireland looked poor all they way up to the AUS game and then totally mugged Aus.

      Rob Jones - 2011-09-20 21:53

      Dr No ahhhh no the boks wont! As they will be warning the seats of the Plane home after they are tipped over by Aussie

  • wozlocksley - 2011-09-20 14:51

    not sure why the abs are running through what the french might do in the game. it appears as though they are subconciously giving the french some kind of power. what the abs should do is just keep doing what they have been doing. the french will have no answer. in my opinion, this game will not even be close. it wont surprise me at all if the abs win by more than 30 points.

  • wayne.nkuna - 2011-09-20 15:27

    chokers of the century

  • GBES - 2011-09-20 16:22

    Viva Tricolours....Viva Franch..Long Live the Frenchies..

  • steam_engine - 2011-09-20 18:28

    the team that will play for the win will be stu**d. Why would you risk yourself trying to pass into lions' mouth meanwhile you know there is an easy way?? France must let NZ get their sweet revenge & ease their way to the final!!!

  • Richard Prowse - 2011-09-20 22:07

    SBW over pumped up Ken !!!! what a tosser

      Clark Kent - 2011-09-21 00:55

      We will see wont Richard he can set up more trys, tackle better and get to the line better than in Bok Midfield that you currently have. That is also forgetting about his wonderful off loads that the wannabies are trying to master.

  • MJ - 2011-09-21 08:12

    Ireland smashed Australia while Wales also smashed SA - but lost to bad refereeing. Guess it's up to NZ to lay down the law to the NH. And I'm pretty sure the men in black will do it convincingly.

  • paul.maarman - 2011-09-21 08:34

    good luck to you AB....we are all full of bravado when the Proteas take to the field, in a World Cup decider, but we know, another four years....

  • Jan - 2011-09-21 16:19

    @Clark Kent, You call the boks wannabes. Look at the cup. SA 2 NZ 1, and that one was when we were not allowed to play, but in 1996 we thrashed the NZ world champs, can you remember or dont you want to remember????

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