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Henry pleased with All Blacks

New Zealand coach Graham Henry declared his satisfaction after the All Blacks negotiated a potentially fraught World Cup clash against France with flying colours.

Israel Dagg crossed twice while Adam Thompson, Cory Jane and Sonny Bill Williams also breached the whitewash in a 37-17 victory against their main rivals in Pool A.

"It was a very pleasing performance. There were some good tries," said Henry.

"We finished pretty well at times and put some good things together.

"It's good to have a decent hit out against some decent opposition. We were about an eight out of 10, but we have a way to go yet.

"It was a step up in opposition, a step up in intensity and, for most of the game, we played pretty well."

Adding to the sense of occasion at Eden Park was that captain Richie McCaw became the first All Black Test centurion.

"It's just great to see Richie play his 100th game in a big match. He's delighted and so he should be," said Henry.

"In the All Blacks' Tests that I have been involved in over the last eight years, there's no doubt that he's number one.

"He's inspirational, leads by example and is world-class player. He's been the number one player in the world three times and you can't do much better than that."


From Belfast Telegraph