Dominant All Blacks warn best is yet to come

Steve Hansen (Gallo)
Steve Hansen (Gallo)

Auckland - The pace and audacity of the All Blacks as they blew the French away in a 52-11 thrashing in Auckland on Saturday was only a taste of things to come, according to coach Steve Hansen.

The All Blacks have their eyes on a bigger prize - a third consecutive World Cup title when the global showpiece is held in Japan next year.

Hansen has been working on new strategies for the World Cup which he displayed for the first time against France.

After trailing 8-11 at half-time, the All Blacks scored 44 unanswered points in the second half with a high-octane game that Hansen said was still a work in progress.

The All Blacks have made no secret that they have been working ways to beat the rushed defence that has become an effective weapon by most sides.

In the first half against France they tried a kicking game, which had been telegraphed by the inclusion of both Jordie Barrett and Ben Smith in the starting line-up.

When that did not produced the desired result, they took to setting up a platform by driving through the French and the result was an eight-tries-to-one rout.

"It was our first game of the season and we don't want to get too excited about where we are at," Hansen said.

"In 80 minutes we did quite a bit, but it's still going to take lot of bedding down.

"Half the forward pack hadn't played for three weeks for various reasons - injuries, suspensions - and we were a little slow in the first 30 minutes of the game."

But Hansen said he enjoyed watching the All Blacks grow into their roles and finish with 66 percent of possession and 69 percent of territory.

"Our basic style of game plan was there to see but did we execute it to the nth degree? Probably not, but it's the start of the race not the end of the race," he said.

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