All Blacks determined to finish season on a high in Paris

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Cane said after the side's match review that while they had options in their on-field toolbox to apply to game situations, something that worked well against Wales, they were unable to execute them against Ireland, and that meant resorting to more of a kicking game.


France was similar to the All Blacks in rebuilding under new coaches while they had the incentive of wanting to prepare well ahead of their staging of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.


The All Blacks watched France play Argentina 10 days ago and are processing recent video footage of them.


"From what I've seen a lot of their game revolves around [halfback Antoine] Dupont," Cane said.


"His speed of delivery is first-class, but he's a constant threat with the ball and, because he's a constant threat, he creates space for others around him because you have got to put so much attention on him defensively.


"They've got a lot of dynamic ball carriers in their forward pack with good footwork that can get over the gain line and offload, but always with the French, they have some attacking guys out wide too.


"They're playing an exciting brand of footy, that's for sure," he said.


Cane said he had enjoyed being back in the side, and after completing 80 minutes against Italy, he was hopeful he had put his hand up for one of the last two Tests.



"Being able to train with the All Blacks at the level they do, the speed, the skillset is a massive boost and I feel like I'm a much better footy player today than I was three weeks ago, that's for sure," he said.


With so much of the tour's emphasis on developing younger players, Cane said exposure to Aviva Stadium would be one lesson they could take from the loss.


"It's a unique stadium. You can tell them the crowd will be loud, but until you get out there and the crowd is so loud you can't hear yourself think, or you can be in huddles trying to get a message or listen to a message, it's almost impossible to hear. Those sorts of things you have to experience, or go through, to learn from them.


"The main lessons will be: when you are under pressure and things aren't going your way, it's the ability, and the mental ability, to stick to what the team's good at, stick to doing your job, your role, nothing special but executing that under pressure and having the mental fortitude to stay on task when all else around you feels like caving in," he said.


Loosehead prop Joe Moody could reflect on the heavy-duty work the pack had defensively.


"It was a very heavy [defensive] load, we definitely felt it coming out of the game," he said.


The hardest physical part of the game was the first 10-25 minutes when the tempo was fast, and the All Blacks defended for long periods.


"You're always moving, you're having to get up off the line, make those tackles, hit the rucks, get out. That sort of thing gets pretty draining. If you had the choice, it's always easier to attack than defend."


There were a couple of aspects in the lineout and the scrum they could have ironed out.


"I felt like we had them under pressure at scrum time at a couple of points, then we almost let them off I suppose," he said.


Looking at the tour overall, Moody was happy with how far the scrum had advanced.


"From the start of the tour to where we are now, I feel like things are really starting to gel for us. Some of the things we've been working on are coming right, and we've taken a few good steps forward," he said.



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