Australia v New Zealand, Bledisloe Cup, Hong Kong, Oct 30
All Blacks out to keep Genia quiet
ESPNscrum Staff
October 29, 2010
Australia scrum-half Will Genia is caught by the All Blacks' defence, Australia v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, September 11, 2010
Will Genia has been kept quiet by the All Blacks in recent meetings © Getty Images

All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan is hoping that they can keep Australia's Will Genia quiet for another Bledisloe Cup Test when the teams go head-to-head in Hong Kong on Saturday.

The feisty Genia endured a quiet Tri-Nations by his own high standards and Cowan, his opposite number at Hong Kong Stadium, has praised his team's marshalling of the Reds halfback.

"It's not through his bad form, it's just what we're doing as a team to stop him," Cowan said. "We mould our structure around what he does really so it's bloody hard for him to function.

"Super 14 rugby is different to internationals. The higher you get the defence levels go up a hell of a lot too. I rate him very highly. I look at him and Quade [Cooper] and think they're the leaders in that team. They tend to be driving them round the park. It's key for us as a team to try and shut them down."

Genia admitted that he had been forced to manipulate certain aspects of his repertoire due to the lack of front-foot ball available against New Zealand.

"When you come up against the All Blacks it's a lot different," he said. "They deny you that front foot ball so you've got to work hard to achieve it and also be better at playing off medium to slow paced ball."

Meanwhile, Australia skipper Rocky Elsom and his All Blacks counterpart Richie McCaw have shrugged off concerns over the state of the pitch at Hong Kong Stadium.

The inaugural overseas Bledisloe fixture in 2008 was blighted by a poor surface but both Elsom and McCaw were diplomatic when questioned about their opinions of the pitch.

"Ideally you'd have a nice semi-firm fast track but it doesn't always work like that so we'll just play whatever's out there and deal with it when it comes," Elsom said. "Those sort of things are not really for us to worry about just at the moment but it looks as though it might be that way. We definitely don't want to lose any props, but I'm pretty confident that's not going to happen."

McCaw added: "Last time there was a little bit of that but it's the same for both teams. You can't do much about it now, we have to deal with it as best we can."

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