Home' The Wellingtonian : September 22nd 2011 Contents 26 THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 22, 2011
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By TOBY ROBSON
Even as he watched them tearing his side to
shreds, Japan's coach, John Kirwan, firmed his
belief in the quality of the two All Blacks occupying
his old spot on the wing.
One was Richard Kahui, a player Kirwan rates
highly and believes should remain on the left flank.
The other was Sonny Bill Williams, who he said
had shown he could be as devastating on the wing
as in the midfield.
I thought Richard played really well against
Tonga and again against us,'' said Kirwan. He's a
good wing and we should leave him there.
And I thought it was a good idea to play Sonny
Bill on the wing. I just wish they could have done
it another time. Having him come on at centre or
wing is good for us [New Zealand]. He can bust a
game open. I think he's a special player.''
Kahui and Williams grabbed two tries each in
the All Blacks' 13-try bonanza, during an 83-7 rout
that never got past a glorified training run.
Williams' 35-minute cameo was significant as
the All Black selectors look for the best way to use
his talents without breaking up the midfield com-
bination of Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
In looking for the best All Black XV to play
France, the wings and fullback were among the
most contentious positions.
Coach Graham Henry shared Kirwan's enthusi-
asm for the pair.
All Blacks gave 100pc
Flying wing: All Black Richard Kahui is tackled by Japan's Murray Williams. Kahui had
a strong game, scoring twice in New Zealand's 13-try rout of the visitors. Photo: FAIRFAX
By TOBY ROBSON
Richard Kahui says the All Blacks need
to continue building if they are to beat
France this weekend.
The wing has been one of New
Zealand's best players during their
World Cup wins against Tonga and
But Kahui knows that everything
will go up a level when they face France
at Eden Park on Saturday.
We knew the Japanese were going
to be a different kettle of fish to Tonga
and we know the French will be differ-
ent again,'' he said.
There were concerns about the All
Blacks after recent losses to South
Africa and Australia and then the
scratchy performance against Tonga.
Even though the public may have
been worried, Kahui said he never felt
the All Blacks had major problems.
I never felt as if we were off track,''
In the game against Tonga we didn't
play for the full 80 minutes, which we
were all aware of.
Against Japan we did play the full
80, which was nice, but better than that
is that our phase play stuff was really
Against whatever opposition you've
still got to get the ball into space and
we did a really good job of that.''
Kahui said the All Blacks could be
satisfied with where their progress at
the midway point of pool play.
Overall we're pretty happy. But if
we get too happy with where we are,
we'll fall over,'' he said.
It would be nice to beat France and
put on a good performance against
them as well.''
No doubt a lot of the media focus will
be on the All Blacks' World Cup losses
against France in 1999 and 2007. Those
were both crushing defeats for New
Zealand rugby and for many, the pain
is still there.
In past campaigns, France have
been a real issue for the All Blacks. But
this is the team of 2011 and we start
with a fresh slate,'' Kahui said.
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