Wednesday, June 06, 2007

News before Saturday's test (tvnz)

Injuries easing for All Blacks
Jun 6, 2007

Captain Richie McCaw and flirst-five Dan Carter took little part in New Zealand's training session on Wednesday, casting doubt on their chances of playing in Saturday's second test against France in Wellington.

Both players picked up minor injuries in the 42-11 first test win over the French in Auckland on Saturday, Carter rolling his ankle in the ninth minute and flanker McCaw also going off at halftime with hip problems.

Nick Evans came on for Carter and Rodney So'oialo for McCaw at Eden Park. Evans would be likely to deputise again with Chris Masoe set to be promoted from the bench if McCaw fails to make it. Flanker Jerry Collins, who missed the opener with a heel injury, played a full part in Wednesday's training session.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry named his side on Tuesday, making six changes to the starting lineup that crushed this year's World Cup hosts.

The team trains in Auckland again on Thursday before flying to Wellington on Friday.


France want more respect
Jun 6, 2007

France have hit back at claims by All Blacks coach Graham Henry that they employed negative tactics in the first test at Auckland last weekend.
New Zealand beat France 42-11 at Eden Park on Saturday but Henry described the French approach as 'pretty negative' and criticised the growing use of tactics to slow games down.
But fullback Thomas Castaignede, one of the most experienced players in a weakened French squad, said France were owed more respect and the All Blacks should focus on their own game.

"The All Blacks don't seem to be happy at the moment," Castaignede told reporters in Wellington on Wednesday.
"We respect them a lot because they are a very good team but they cannot dictate to everybody what the other team have to do. We're going to show them on the pitch that we deserve a bit more respect than what they give to us."

Henry had said the frustrating "tactics", including the length of time it took players to get up from injuries, were worse than he had seen at any time in his career, but Castaignede insisted there had been no deliberate ploy.

"We didn't slow the game. It wasn't a tactic, it's only in your mind. We never spoke about that at training or whatever," he said ahead of the second test in Wellington on Saturday.
"People were shaken by some of the impacts but me and the other players would have loved the game to go a bit quicker. I hope it won't be something the All Blacks can speak about next week."

Castaignede also criticised the reception the French team had received since arriving in New Zealand. Coach Bernard Laporte has been unable to choose players from the four sides taking part in the French national championship semi-finals, and there were 14 uncapped players in the original squad of 26.
"If you want to be upset, be upset with the political stuff," said Castaignede. "As players we're here to do the best performance that we can do."

Castaignede said criticism on TV that France had only brought their "C team" to New Zealand was unfair. "If there had been the semi-finals of the Super 14, I'm not sure that the All Blacks would have brought the same team to France."

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