All Blacks absorb French lessons

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Lynn McConnell     12 Nov 2017     Getty Images

Read, who left the field with a groin niggle early in the second half, told SkySport the side came out and weathered the French storm in the first half but the home team had shown a bit of fight to come back in the second half, although the All Blacks 'had probably let them come back.'

"I'm sure the boys will walk off and feel a little bit underwhelmed that we didn't finish the job but great to halt their momentum midway through the second half and then build a bit ourselves. There were certainly lessons there but you have got to be pretty happy with that first half," he said.

It was important for younger players in the side to experience the atmosphere of a game like that against France.

He said his groin had tightened up and he would rest it to see how it shaped up.

Coach Steve Hansen repeated the delight over the first half but was frustrated at the penalties conceded in the second.

"It was a great first half, a pretty average second half. The discipline in the second half was poor. We gave away 11 penalties. You can't play rugby when it's like that but in saying that they still hung in there and showed a lot of composure. The attitude was great, the defence was good and they scored a nice try at the end so another tick in the box," he said.

Hansen said the All Blacks didn't make it easy for themselves by conceding dumb penalties.

"I'm a bit disappointed about that but happy with a lot of other things," he said.

Playing in such a noisy atmosphere would be a valuable lesson for players, Hansen said, and while there had been frustrations with the scrums he felt referee Angus Gardner had handled the scrums well, although the French infringing had made the game 'stop-starty'.

It had been a great week for the side, they had trained well and had performed well in the first half but let themselves down in the second, he said.

"We did enough to win the game, and won it pretty easy in the end but there's a few things to sort out," he said.

First five-eighths Beauden Barrett, who took over the captaincy early in the second half, said the side's discipline in the second half let them down and that had been frustrating especially after the quality of the first half.

"I'm glad in the last 10 minutes the momentum came back and we were able to finish the game off," he said.

"They attacked us through the middle in the second half, it was a clear tactic and we'll have to work on that for next week [against Scotland] so you've got to give them some credit, they're a quality team, they came back into that game and we had to work hard for it."

Barrett said they were conscious of the wet conditions and wanted to be clinical in the early stages of the game by putting pressure on France and playing territory and that had worked in the first half.