Thursday 14 December 2017

All Blacks fired up for a tough physical battle with Georgia

Victor Vito after scoring the first try for New Zealand
Victor Vito after scoring the first try for New Zealand

New Zealand are looking forward to a tough physical confrontation when they play Georgia in their third Rugby World Cup pool match in Cardiff on Friday.

A second-string All Blacks side overwhelmed Namibia 58-14 after the first-choice side beat Argentina 26-16 in their opening Pool C game, but the defending champions have not played as efficiently as they had hoped.

“We haven’t really fronted (up) physically as much as we needed to in the past couple of games,” flanker Victor Vito said yesterday.

“With the Georgians and the way they play, they are going to present us with a great opportunity to bring out those aspects and for us to front (up) physically with a pack that isn’t going to take a backward step.

“That’s what we’ll look to bring on Friday and that’s what the Georgians will bring in bucketloads.”

The intense competition for starting spots within the talented New Zealand squad is another factor integral to keeping the All Blacks at the peak of their powers.

“Competition is something we’ve had to deal with in this team positionally for quite a bit,” Vito said.  “The coaches may name a team, but that doesn’t mean that the other guys have got their heads down.

“Conversely, when those guys come on, they need to make sure they don’t have a brain explosion because they don’t know their roles.”

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