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Laporte says All Blacks are beatable

Photosport

Sportal.co.nz     02 Oct 2007     Photosport

Before the French leave for Cardiff on Tuesday, Laporte said that New Zealand had not been taking any risks and hadn't scored many tries off first-phase play with the tries being individual efforts but not collective.

Either he is attempting to obscure reality or develop mind games but some of the most significant tries scored by the All Blacks during the World Cup have been free-flowing team efforts, especially in the best handling performance of the competition against Romania on Saturday, but also in the spectacular first 20 minutes against Italy in the All Blacks' opening game.

"The All Blacks are very good and we respect them," he said.

"They are just like a myth.

"We will try to explain to the players that they have to be strong in the fight," he said.

Laporte said that he expected during the first half of the quarter-final the All Blacks will use a kicking game.

France had a 50 percent chance of winning, he said.

"We will have to be very good in every sector of our game.

"Even in the scrum they are very good now. We will have to rise to that level of rugby if we want to win.

"It is not only [Dan] Carter who is very good, there are a lot of quality players around him. They are a very collective team now," he said.

Laporte didn't know whether it was better having to play them in a quarter-final instead of the final.

"We have to play them. They have missed hard games [in the pool matches] so I don't know."

Laporte said the French have four training sessions planned this week. In their video analysis of the All Blacks they will be looking at their World Cup games and the Tri Nations games, as well as the Tests France lost to the All Blacks last year.

"We would have preferred Paris or Marseille in front of our fans, but we are going to Cardiff," he said.

Meanwhile, halfback Pierre Mignoni will not be eligible for consideration. He has an injured left leg and he will be examined next Monday to see if he will stay with the team should it advance to the semi-final.

Lock Fabien Pelous, who has also been suffering from a knee injury, is now 100 percent fit.

Both teams will be named on Wednesday.