1 Oct 2015

'It's time we stepped up': Vito

11:58 am on 1 October 2015

New Zealand plan to bring their 'A' game to a bruising confrontation with Georgia in their third Rugby World Cup pool match in Cardiff on Saturday.

A second-string All Blacks side overwhelmed Namibia 58-14 after the first-choice side beat Argentina 26-16 in their opening Pool C game, but the defending champions have not played as efficiently as they had hoped.

"We haven't really fronted (up) physically as much as we needed to in the past couple of games," said loose forward Victor Vito.

Victor Vito on the burst against Namibia, 2015.

Victor Vito on the burst against Namibia, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"With the Georgians and the way they play they are going to present us with a great opportunity to front a pack that isn't going to take a backward step.

"That's what we'll look to bring and that's what the Georgians will bring in bucketloads."

The intense competition for starting spots within the talented New Zealand squad is another factor integral to keeping the All Blacks at the peak of their powers.

"Competition is something we've had to deal with in this team positionally for quite a bit," Vito said.

"The coaches may name a team, but that doesn't mean that the other guys have got their heads down.

"Conversely, when those guys come on, they need to make sure they don't have a brain explosion because they don't know their roles. Competition is a really good thing in this team, it pushes us right to the edge."

Meanwhile, All Blacks first-five Dan Carter issued a veiled threat to Georgia that New Zealand expect to be at their best on Saturday.

Dan Carter offloads the ball to Ben Smith in the All Blacks World Cup match with Argentina.

Dan Carter offloads the ball to Ben Smith in the All Blacks World Cup match with Argentina. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We've had two games now and we got through those games with wins but it's time we stepped up now," said Carter.

"We're in our third game into this tournament and it's time we improved as a team, including myself, so we're really looking forward to this weekend."

New Zealand arrived in Cardiff on Sunday when Wales pulled off their epic victory over hosts England at Twickenham.

"It was quite tough to get some sleep here the first night, but it was good for the town and good for Wales," flanker Jerome Kaino said.

New Zealand top the Pool C standings with nine points, four ahead of Argentina.

- Reuters