Heat on from the start of Rugby World Cup - Todd

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And that isn't only because games don't come much hotter than playing the Springboks in their opening pool game.

 

Todd has experience in Japanese conditions playing 10 games for the Panasonic Wild Knights last season and said while it would be hot and humid during the pool games, by the time the finals rolled around, the temperature would be much more comfortable.

 

"There'll be some challenges, but we'll adapt to those and embrace those," he said.

 

Todd is part of what is shaping as a competitive New Zealand loose forward combination in which he Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Luke Jacobson and Kieran Read would be competing for places.

 

After Saturday's 92-7 win in which he was paired with Savea and Read, Todd said he thought skipper and No.8 Kieran Read was looking back to his best form.

 

"He is a massively influential player right across the game; set-piece, kick-off, his ball skills you saw them in the middle of the field, his distributional carry.

 

"He's a pretty special player and he can impact the game in so many different ways. He's been around a long time, he's an experienced player and I guess he's timing his run nicely.

 

"He's getting into some great form, he's excited and he obviously knows what's coming up and he's leading from the front that's for sure," he said.

 

Todd said fellow flanker Ardie Savea was also in special form and was a special athlete.

 

"It is certainly a lot better playing alongside him than against him that's for sure. He can create things on a footy field and do stuff that no one else really can."

 

His ability to handle any of the loose forward roles, with his speed off the back of the scrum and his refusal to go down when carrying the ball, ability to get over the advantage line and to create momentum while also having the ability to fetch and win turnovers when playing the openside flanker's role made him almost unique.

 

"He's got a special skill set and it's great to see him out there and he impacts the game in so many ways. He's a powerful man, he's never tackled, he wriggles and fights and finds a way to keep going. He runs great lines and puts himself in great positions and he's got that speed so that if he gets half a break he's gone."

 

The Tongan game had been beneficial and showed the side was getting closer to where it wanted to be but there was still more to be done to get to peak performance in Japan.

"It was a pretty open game and we had talked during the week that we didn't want to get sloppy and too loose as the game opened up, and for the most part I thought we stayed pretty efficient in what we did and did our job whatever that was, but it worked well," he said.

 

Todd said it had been satisfying to leak only one try because teams could slacken off in the later part of games.

 

"Our attack's been slowly building so there were some great pictures of what we're trying to achieve and what we've been working on so if we can just continue to grow that it will be pleasing," he said.

 

Crusaders wings George Bridge and Sevu Reece had not surprised him with their form with the All Blacks. He said he had seen their enthusiasm and when they did the little things well then the tries followed and their hard work had paid off.

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