Henry: Things to work on

All Blacks coach pleased with progress

Last Updated: 16/09/11 12:22pm

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Henry: Saw his side topple Japan 83-7

Henry: Saw his side topple Japan 83-7

Sky Bet

New Zealand coach Graham Henry had admitted his side need to step up their performances despite thrashing Japan 83-7 in Hamilton.

The All Blacks ran in 13 tries as they ruthlessly brushed aside the Cherry Blossoms, who are coached by New Zealand legend John Kirwan.

However with a much tougher prospect coming up against France - their conquerors in 1999 and 2007 - Henry knows his side need to move on.

And having gifted a try to Hirotoki Onozawa, with the winger intercepting Colin Slade's attempted off-load, Henry wants his side to cut out the errors.

"Yeah it was pleasing... a better performance than last week," said Henry.

Progress

"Perhaps the opposition wasn't as strong, but the Japanese play with good structure and try to play the game well.

"I'm pleased with them but there are still things to work on.

"We played well for most of the time but I think we threw four 50:50 passes in the second half - one resulted in a try so it is something we are looking to cut out of the game.

"We trained well during the week and prepared well but we just have to go up another notch. It is going to be a huge game next week against France but I am pleased with the progress."

Henry particularly praised Sonny Bill Williams after the former rugby league star appeared on the wing as a second-half substitute and scored two of his team's 13 tries, having started in the centre against Tonga last week.

"He certainly made a statement, didn't he?" Henry said.

"When he went on he had a positive performance. He certainly got the selectors thinking."

Mealamu view

Skipper Keven Mealamu was delighted with the win but, like Henry, he is not resting on his laurels.

He said: "The big thing this week was that we wanted to improve. We have improved a lot, but we still have a few things we can get better on.

"We have some talented boys who can play in different positions, and we're building smoothly. But next week (against France) is a big step up."

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