New Zealand All Blacks Rugby News

Mauger: ‘We always express ourselves’

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All Blacks inside centre Aaron Mauger, whilst admitting that not enough opportunities were converted during their victory over the French on Saturday, says that the New Zealand coaches are intent on their talented players “expressing themselves”.

“They (coaches) always let us express ourselves, you can’t take that away from the guys because that’s the style of rugby they enjoy the most,” Mauger told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).

“But we realise there’s a bit of compromise at Test match level, you have to make sure it comes off.

“The guys were keen to move the ball around early and there were some 50-50 passes — we probably didn’t play the conditions as we should have in the first 20 minutes.”

Mauger said that a big improvement in performance can be expected next week when the All Blacks host the French in Wellington on Saturday.

“I don’t know if we’ll improve points wise but the performance will be a whole lot better — though that’s not to say the French won’t get better as well.”

Mauger was one of the players who did shine in what was not a polished team effort.

Mauger is under serious pressure from Blues midfielder Luke McAlister, but his performance on Saturday may yet keep McAlister at bay.

Both players are set to leave for European clubs after the World Cup, with Mauger’s move official – he will head for Leicester.

The All Blacks coaching staff were suitably impressed with Mauger’s performance.

“He was very decisive and incisive,” assistant coach Wayne Smith said.

“We’ve asked him to be aggressive in attack and be penetrative — I thought he did that really well.”

 

365 Digital

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