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Rokocoko puts his hand up

Fotopress

Sportal.co.nz     16 Sep 2007     Fotopress

It has been something of a starvation diet for Rokocoko this year but by taking his chances in Lyon, and he knew he had to take them early, he maintained his outstanding strike rate in his 46-Test career.

"We took a while to get it going, but we mentioned that in the changing room beforehand.

"These guys and teams like them are very passionate, the will just try to go hard," Rokocoko said.

As the game wore on they realised the dam would crack, as it did.

However, there were some casual moments that were a concern.

"But we want back to things that we wanted to do, which was to work off good set-piece work and be really direct and get over the advantage line - which we always aim to do, especially from set pieces," he said.

"I knew I had to take my chances early because I knew I wouldn't have a chance later on in the game when there would be a few pop passes inside.

"In these types of games there are a few breaks in the middle when guys get pop passes from the ruck," he said.

Asked if it was little more than a practice game, Rokocoko dismissed the thought and said it was another game for the side to grow as a team and to put team patterns right before the next game against Scotland in Edinburgh next weekend.

"I was just concentrating on making my mark on the game and putting up my hand for selection later on," he said.

And he did gain a souvenir Portugal playing kit, exchanging his All Blacks gear with his Portugese rival. He said the two teams spent a lot of time talking with each other after the game because of the special occasion that it was for both teams.