James Mortimer 16.Jun.2013Getty Images
The All Blacks have proven themselves to be a side that lifts to the occasion, and New Zealand’s 500th Test match saw the All Blacks put in as close to a complete performance as we have seen in some time, winning 30-0 and creating history by becoming the first such Kiwi side to keep a French team scoreless.
It was the first time in over 23 years France had been blanked.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the pattern had been set during the week, with the side going up several gears as they approach their second Test of 2013.
“It was a performance that we expected,” Hansen said.
“We felt at training we'd gone up about nine or 10 cogs. The accuracy was there, the sharpness was there and that's just spending time together. We got our game right, our kicking game was good, our chase was good and our defence was simply outstanding."
The All Blacks will face another challenge in New Plymouth this weekend, with the French likely to be as desperate as they can be to avoid a series whitewash.
Equally the World Champions will need to ensure they remain focused and motivated as they build towards The Investec Rugby Championship.
“We'll look at what we're trying to achieve and have a plan for that,” Hansen said.
“The series has been won, and we've talked about taking risks, so we may have the opportunity to make some changes. I wouldn't say we'll make a lot but we will look at the long-term plan as well as the short-term one.”