New Zealand rugby
All Blacks seek better breakdown
June 11, 2013
France's Adrien Plante runs at New Zealand's Keven Mealamu, New Zealand v France, Gallaher Cup, Eden Park, Auckland, June 8, 2013
Keven Mealamu (l) knows the All Blacks need to control the collisions © Getty Images
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The troublesome breakdown area is being scrutinised by the All Blacks as they prepare for the second Test against France at AMI Stadium, Christchurch, on Saturday night.

Although New Zealand began the three-test series with a 23-13 win at Eden Park last Saturday they have conceded that France had the better of the breakdowns which restricted their attacking opportunities.

"We had a review this morning and it's one of the areas we looked at," open-side flanker Sam Cane said in Christchurch on Monday afternoon. "I think it comes back also to our ball-carriers doing their job a little bit better. If you get over the gain line it makes the clean out process easier. If we can win the race to the gain line and get over it, then we can get quick ball and with the backs we've got, we'll back them every day one-on-one."

Cane, whose body is still feeling the effects of a bruising battle with the physical French loose forwards, admitted it had been a torrid time.

"It was tough out there. They're tough to move, they're big boys and they get pretty low and get their whole bodies in there. They did a good job and it's something we'll have to be better at. I was pretty wrecked to be honest, but at the same time there was a good feeling to play 80 minutes for the All Blacks in a tough match like that. It was pretty satisfying and I'm feeling better after a gym session this morning."

Veteran All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu also said that the All Blacks had to be more proficient at the breakdown.

"They're big men and we're not used to seeing guys that low over the ball who were able to execute that clean out really well. If we get it [breakdown] right we've got some great backs who can let loose. It is a big part of the game and we have to make sure we fix it this week. The French brought physicality and it is one thing to expect and another to actually go out and it happens," Mealamu said. "Now we've experienced that we've got to make sure we control the collisions and win those to put us in better stead."

© Sportal

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