'We aren't grumpy, we're just a little on edge'

1:25 pm on 6 October 2015

The All Blacks aren't grumpy, they're just a little on edge, says the team's assistant coach Ian Foster, in the lead-up to the side's next game.

As the business end of the competition looms and having yet to turn in a complete performance in their three pool games, Foster admitted there was an added edge around the camp.

Wins over Argentina, Namibia and Georgia meant the All Blacks had already confirmed their place in the quarterfinals but they still have Saturday's final pool game against Tonga in Newcastle to come.

Quizzed on whether there's been some grumpiness in the camp this week or whether it's more of an edge, Foster thought it was the latter.

"Some people think that we are grumpy inside, but we're going into the business end of the tournament, so is there a bigger edge? Yes, probably.

"But I don't think it's grumpiness at all. I think it's a desire to keep getting better and better, and make sure that (complete) game we want to chuck out on the park is just around the corner," he said.

The All Blacks aren't doing grumpy at the Rugby World Cup says Ian Foster.

'We're not grumpy, we're just on edge' - Ian Foster. Photo: Photosport

Having yet to turn in a performance they are satisfied with means the focus remains on the last pool match against Tonga, and they are not distracted by a looming quarter-final against Ireland or France, said veteran flanker Jerome Kaino.

"We know that we haven't put out a performance that's All Black standard, and that's kept us grounded and focussing on the now," Kaino said.

After far from convincing performances against the likes of Georgia, the All Blacks aren't getting ahead of themselves and thinking of the quarterfinals says veteran flanker Jerome Kaino.

After far from convincing performances against the likes of Georgia, the All Blacks aren't getting ahead of themselves and thinking of the quarterfinals says veteran flanker Jerome Kaino. Photo: Photosport

"If we look back at the last three games, teams have put us under pressure, and we know for us to get better and improve in the quarter-finals, we need to focus on Tonga and that's a good thing because it doesn't let us look too far ahead."

Prop Ben Franks said the expectations around what scores the All Blacks should be putting up against the second tier nations also needed to change.

Franks said the improvement in the second-tier teams at the Rugby World Cup hadn't come as a surprise.

All Blacks prop Ben Franks

All Blacks prop Ben Franks Photo: Photosport

"Reading through their team lists before a game all the teams now, their players are professionals playing in leagues around the world and they're exposed to to a lot more rugby... and they're big guys and can scrum and lineout and its just really the speed (of a game) that is a bit different," Franks said.

"Where the frustration comes in is that there is a perception that (we should be winning) by 80 or 90 points and then you try and do too much and you go away from the basics."

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