Players and coaches united in third Test approach

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Lynn McConnell     20 Jun 2018     Getty Images

Reviewing the game had its effect and there had been a response not only from the players but also the coaches.

Foster said in Dunedin, "We weren't very satisfied with the result that we got and we had to look hard at ourselves about how we dealt with that game too. As a team we've had a good look at it.

"We're disappointed that we didn't back up one good scoreline with a quality performance which is what we were looking at. So clearly we didn't get a few things right."

But the response had been positive as was expected of All Blacks and it was a case of backing with a better performance on Saturday.

They would not be thinking in terms of a dead rubber with the series all sewn up. The expectation that the All Blacks would win was consistent while they were aware that the French had all the motivation ahead of them.

"We're expecting a big push from them and this is an All Blacks-France Test and we've just got to treat it like that," he said.

Among the considerations ahead for the selectors will be their playing choice and one player, in the absence of Beauden Barrett, likely to feature at some stage would be first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga.

Foster said the Crusaders had done a good job preparing Mo'unga for top class rugby.

"The way they've managed him after they lost a lot of 10s [first five-eighths] after the World Cup, it was Toddy [Blackadder] at the time and he just backed him and filled him with confidence and said, 'you're the man to run our franchise'.

"So as a young man he got a lot of responsibility on him and we've watched him through the last couple of years, three years, where he's just grown and how he's done that and how he's managed that with that team.

"We've seen a lot of his growth off the park through the Crusaders and we've been impressed with it. His game management, therefore, has grown to the fact that he's fitted in here really, really well," he said.

June was always harder on newer players, he said, as they played well in Super Rugby and then had to come in and learn with a new team from scratch.

The selectors were pleased with how it had worked this year and prop Karl Tu'inukuafe was an example of that. He had made an impact in a short time.

In the wake of wing Julian Savea's announcement that he had signed for Toulon at the end of the Investec Super Rugby season Foster acknowledged Savea's abilities.

Savea had a spark about him and what made him special was his power, pace and when on his game his finishing on his wing was outstanding, he said.

"He's been a big part of the All Blacks and in most of my time here he has been here and I wish him well and I know he will do well overseas. I admire the way he has dealt with the last 12 months.

"It's not easy when you have been a big part of this team to not make it but I think he's carried himself well. He's fighting to get back his form and he's clearly made a decision and good luck to him.

"But what an amazing career he's had for us. He's been awesome," he said.

It was unfortunate for him that other contenders for his position were playing well but Foster said he had been a great All Black.