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Smith wants more from All Blacks


Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith

New Zealand backs coach Wayne Smith has called for a 25% improvement from the All Blacks before next year's Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks take on South Africa in the first Test match at the FNB Stadium this weekend, looking to make it five wins out of five in the Tri-Nations.

Speaking after the side arrived in South Africa, Smith told reporters: "We still have to go another 25% if you take into account the improvement of the other teams."

New Zealand's positive style this year has been down in a large part to the way they have adapted to the law interpretations.

The first evidence of what might be possible under the changes was seen when the All Blacks beat France 39-12 in Marseille last November.

"We were swimming against the tide in last year's Tri-Nations. We were trying to play with the ball in hand because that's what inspires our players, that's what motivates them, while the kick-chase does not," added Smith.

"But we were not helped by the laws last year and our skills also let us down."

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Smith claimed that match in Marseille was a watershed moment for the team because it showed the style the All Blacks preferred was still possible.

"It's a great way to play footy and it set us up for this year when the laws did change," he said.

"We made the assumption that the game couldn't continue the way it was going because it was losing its fan base and it wasn't great to watch. We went forward with our vision of how we believed the game should be played."