Canada take big boost from All Blacks' performance

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Canada had been in the game for long periods but were unable to capitalise on their chances and in the last 20 minutes they had been competitive and fought hard and hadn't stopped.

 

"There's lots of positives for us to build on and that's what we've got to look at. I think the basic facts are the speed, the accuracy, the power the team can generate at times, the All Blacks at times, you have got to admire. Some of their execution was incredible.

 

"They're a fantastic team and it's a great lesson for our players but as I said they were outstanding," he said.

 

Jones said the problem for Tier Two nations was the lack of opportunities to regularly play Tier One nations, Canada had played only three since the 2015 World Cup, and they needed a path into the professional game.

 

"When they're given the opportunity as Tyler [captain Tyler Ardron-pictured with Sonny Bill Williams] has shown, he's been outstanding amongst the guys we've played there tonight, we have a chance to progress," he said.

 

Canada had some good young players coming out of a massive rugby culture but without a pathway to progress.

 

They weren't helped by quota rules of other countries, which he understood, that made it difficult for them to play professional rugby.

 

The Major League competition in the United States was a lifeline for Canada and while in its infancy he felt positively about it, although it still had a long way to go. But more players were getting involved and he hoped coaches would also benefit.

 

Ardron said the conditions had been tough, slick and slippery, but he felt they handled them quite well.

 

"We didn't have a ton of possession but we managed to keep the ball for a while and I mean the All Blacks managed to execute as well. Under pretty tough conditions, I thought the ball moved pretty well," he said.

 

The All Blacks were as good as ever and he rated them to go all the way in the tournament. They were still trying to work out a few combinations but player for player they would be pretty hard to beat, he said.

 

"I think all the Kiwis were impressed with the way we performed, they knew we weren't going to take a step back and we proved them right in that regard. All the way up to the 80th minute we were trying to put bodies on the floor, just coming up and putting them under as much pressure as we could," he said.

 

After the game the two sides had mixed and there had been a lot of encouragement from the All Blacks to the Canadians, he said, and that would help them for their next two games.

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