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Scrum, line speed no qualm for All Blacks

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017 Angelo Risso

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has brushed off the British and Irish Lions' greatest threats, saying his side will be well prepared.

The Lions managed to secure a hard-fought 12-3 win over the Crusaders on Saturday before falling 23-22 to the Highlanders in Tuesday's frenetic encounter.

Key to the Test selection's win in Christchurch was their nous at scrum-time - aided by some favourable decisions from French referee Mathieu Raynal - and quick defensive line speed, both of which Foster felt his side could successfully overcome.

"We've had French referees for a long time - quite honestly I'm not too sure what the big issue is," Foster told reporters on Tuesday.

"We're scrummaging the way we've been scrummaging.

"It's more about us just making sure we're adapting to (referee) interpretations, but in terms of legality, we've got no concerns."

Line speed, meanwhile, had been a staple of Super Rugby for long enough to prepare his troops for the northern hemisphere onslaught.

Friday's clash with Samoa would also aid their cause, while shaking out the cobwebs for several recent injury returnees in the process.

"In Super Rugby now we see a lot more line speed, different alignments coming at us - five years ago it was probably a major surprise and it took a while for guys to get used to it, but now it's something they feel a lot more every week," Foster said.

"It's just part of the game now and has its own set of challenges."

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