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Savea made mark early in Test

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Sportal.co.nz     17 Jun 2013     Getty Images

He was able to latch onto second five-eighths Ma'a Nonu's grubber kick behind the French defenders to score unmarked.

"I was just in the right place," was Savea's summation of events.

Referee Alain Rolland was not immediately convinced Savea had been on-side and sought the assurance of the video referee that Savea had not transgressed, but the try was awarded.

Savea also featured with several forays into the backline, most notably when linking perfectly with right wing Ben Smith to feed him in for the game-clinching second try.

He had other powerful drives at the French defences and admitted his body was feeling the effects a little more than had been the case after the first Test.

"I knew I had to chase kicks, it doesn't matter where they went out on the full, or just stayed in, in my mindset it was just chasing really hard," he said.

Savea felt he had met coach Steve Hansen's demand to switch on his rugby mind. His own preparation was good and the outside backs had got together and worked out their plan very well.

"It was pretty good. We prepared well and that definitely showed out on the paddock."

Savea said captain Kieran Read had given the side a challenge.

"He said we can have the detail nailed and all the preparation right but it's how much we are going to bring, especially in conditions like this," he said.

Having to deal with the wet conditions, and control the kicks the French sent down field, Savea said it required more focus on the ball.

The fact the French were lax in following up their kicks had played into the All Blacks' hands, he said.

Savea was also surprised the French had been held scoreless, especially given the way they had played in the first Test with their physical approach, especially at the breakdown.