Japan result a timely reminder for All Blacks

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 Preparing to play Canada, assistant coach Ian Foster said it would once again be a case of their opposition looking to produce their best performance against the All Blacks.


"You've got to respect every opposition you play because there's…I'm sure if you talk to the Canadians it's a massive game for them as well. I'm pretty sure they'll be pretty excited about having a crack at us and if we give them too many free shots then we're going to be in for a hard evening like everyone is," Foster said.


The All Blacks management were delighted with the state of fitness and availability in their squad, with lock Brodie Retallick a lot better than he had been last week and very close to being considered for selection but he wouldn't be ready for the Canada game.


Foster said it had been a refreshing change to get out into the Japanese countryside at Oita and away from the big cities. They had been able to get some solid training days in as well.


"We've obviously come through a really big battle and now we're into a game against Canada where we're trying to be specific about what we're trying to achieve.


"It's not a matter of hiding stuff or going through plans C, D and E. It's a matter of doing what we do and trying to execute at a real high level and it's a matter of maybe looking at some of the options we take within certain areas," he said


"We've got a plan based on things we can do to deal with them in our mind like we have every week but there's also a couple of things that I probably won't share with you that we really need to improve and sharpen up for what's yet to come," he said.


Tougher stances from referees were not unexpected at the tournament. World Rugby had put a line in the sand and it wasn't only the cards that were being issued but also the six-week entry point that was mandatory.


"So we're not only seeing more cards, we're seeing longer suspensions and that's probably the thing that's going to have the biggest impact on the tournament but in terms of tackle height, we understand it. It's really clear and for us it's a matter of driving good technique but you still want to be physical.


"You've still got to achieve the outcome you want and you just hope that if something does go wrong and there's an accidental thing that there's enough rugby wisdom in the process that follows to deal with that. But at the moment it's reasonably black and white," he said.


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