Will France spring a surprise against NZ?

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 10:26

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: France are clear underdogs for their clash against New Zealand on Saturday, but the world champions will not be taking their opponents lightly.

The French were thrashed by the All Blacks in last year's World Cup quarterfinal. However, France have caused a few major upsets in the past. 

The All Blacks were conscious of the French ability to take games apart, especially against New Zealand, with the 2007 quarterfinal still a recent memory for many.

"Obviously playing in France they would like to upset the All Blacks again, they always do, and I've got no doubt it is probably in the back of their minds and it will be something they touch on this week," Brodie Retallick told allblacks.com.

"There's no way we can cut any corners this week…it's another important week this week." 

The All Blacks are coming off a hard-fought 21-9 win over Ireland in Dublin last weekend and Retallick believes their bruising defence was a key part in that victory.   

"To make that many tackles and to get off the line the way we did showed good character and that we were working hard for each other," Retallick added. 

"We've just had our review and we want to find ways we can play some attacking rugby and to hold the ball. That's something we'll be looking to do this weekend."

The All Blacks will head home after the Paris match and Retallick said it will be vital to end the 2016 season with a win

"The summer will be a lot more enjoyable getting on the plane with a win than heading home with a loss," he said.

Source: allblacks.com