Rugby-Work needed for New Zealand and Fr

June 09 [Sun], 2013, 22:23
By Greg Stutchbury

AUCKLAND, June 8 (Reuters) - New Zealand and France have plenty to work on ahead of next weekend's second test after a series of small mistakes during the All Blacks 23-13 win in the first match at Eden Park on Saturday.

The boot of flyhalf Aaron Cruden and two counter-attacking tries late in the first half gave New Zealand victory as both sides produced sound defence, mixed with basic handling errors, at the set piece and the breakdown.

"Obviously we are not happy with the performance," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who is rebuilding the side ahead of their World Cup defence in England in 2015. "We know it was ugly at times.

"We also knew that it was the first game of the season. We're working on new things and when you do that you make mistakes. We weren't far away from creating really good opportunities to score tries.

"We will go away and try to get rid of the avoidable errors, of which there were about 25, and work and try to refine what we did and I think we will get a better performance next week."

France coach Phillipe Saint-Andre was justifiably more downbeat than Hansen as he felt his side had the opportunity to record their fifth win against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

They must now win in Christchurch next week and in New Plymouth on June 22 to take the three-match series.

"We are very disappointed because we were in the game for 80 minutes. Each time they got the opportunity they scored," Saint-Andre said.

"We broke them seven times and we didn't finish off. At a high level game like this you need to take advantage of that.

"I think we had the opportunity to win the game or to draw. It is a shame because we don't have many opportunities to beat New Zealand in New Zealand.

"We just need to work, have a positive attitude and come back stronger in the second and third tests." (Editing by Josh Reich)