Defending champions have work to do before World Cup in France

Getty Images     22 Jun 2014     Getty Images

New Zealand went undefeated throughout the tournament, but were made to work hard in the side's twin victories over Canada.

New Zealand looked rattled on attack in the 16-8 win that came despite some aggressive line defence, while the hosts' fitness was tested in their 33-21 win against the same opponents on Saturday.

Following the 33-21 victory, Evans said there were still areas needing improvement ahead of the global showpiece in August.

"We didn't shore up on the outsides as much as we wanted to, but I think we can work on that." said Evans.

Evans said his wings were often "giving them too much space", which the Canadians thrived on in the second half.

But it will be one blip in an otherwise satisfying campaign for the hosts, who warmed up in the best possible style with victories over three different styles of play.

Their 38-3 win over Australia in the tournament opener was built on fitness and an improved forward effort in the second half. The team's 90-12 win over Samoa was about getting quick ball to the star-studded backline.

Their twin wins over the all-around superb Canadians was built on being clinical when given chances to run.

New Zealand return to their provinces ahead of the tournament showpiece, where the four-time defending world champions will play Kazakhstan at the FFR headquarters on August 2 (NZT).