Rugby

Anthony Belleau hails 'complete' All Blacks

2018-06-05 10:59
Anthony Belleau (Getty)
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Cape Town - French flyhalf Anthony Belleau made his Test debut against the All Blacks in Paris in November and is looking forward to lining up against them again during the three-Test series starting at Eden Park on Saturday. 

Now with four Tests behind him Belleau said he was proud to have the chance to be in New Zealand to play the double world champions and it was an opportunity to confront the best in the game. 

He told L'Equipe the All Blacks had a complete game. 

"They have a lot of speed, a technical ease among all the players but also a knowledge of the upper levels of the game. When they play together, it feels like they are superhuman," he said. 

Marking him will be World Rugby's Player of the Year Beauden Barrett. Belleau said he tries to take something from all the first fly-halves he played but Barrett was probably superior to all the others. 

He appreciated that having 14 All Blacks around him probably made life a little easier for Barrett. 

"I'm not saying that if I played with them I would be the best player in the world, but it helps anyway. I had the chance to play against him during my first Test in November and his speed, his vision and his technical quality was impressive," he said. 

The All Blacks as a whole were able to adapt very well to the situations they were confronted with. 

"They have this intelligence that allows them to work around problems. We often stop at the player who has the ball, but they also have this ability when they are without the ball and that makes them so strong. 

"They have this ability to follow actions, anticipate things. Those players had instant reactions to what their ball carrier was doing," he said. 

That made the All Blacks hard to read because their execution could be very clean and fast. 

The All Blacks might be the best team in the world but it was necessary to go in believing you had a chance to beat them, he said. 

"If we look at them too much, we will only turn to look at them in our in-goal. They are like us with two arms and two legs. And then we can respect them by showing them that they may be the All Blacks but that we have come to play a rugby match. 

"It's a story of men and a fight first and foremost. You have to play them, try to hurt them," Belleau said. 

Having his first Test against them had been 'a beautiful baptism of fire', he said. Facing the haka had been a privilege and he felt challenged and got an adrenaline rush and which was a great boost to his motivation for the game ahead.

Read more on:    french  |  all blacks  |  rugby
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