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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Marshall wary of England
Justin Marshall
Marshall says England are "harder to read"
All Blacks scrum-half Justin Marshall warned that England's adaptability could prove the key in the latter stages of the tournament.

England and New Zealand could meet in the final if they remain unbeaten, and Marshall admitted he was surprised with the way Clive Woodward's side beat South Africa at the weekend.

"I didn't think it would be as combative as it was," said Marshall.

"From what I'd seen of England, particularly their game against Australia [England beat the Wallabies 25-14 in June a week after defeating New Zealand 15-13], I thought they had changed the way they were playing and were a bit more expansive.

"This was very forward orientated and there wasn't really a lot of free-flowing play.

We're not comfortable we've got it down pat yet
Justin Marshall

"It showed me England can adapt and play both styles.

"They always seemed very regimented in the way they've played but I've think they've broadened their horizons. It makes them harder to read."

The 30-year-old Marshall will become New Zealand's most-capped back when he makes his 67th Test appearance against Tonga in Friday's Pool D game in Brisbane.

"I'm thrilled obviously, I haven't put a lot of thought into milestones but don't get me wrong I am very proud of the achievement," he said.

Marshall played in the All Blacks' 45-9 win over Tonga at the last World Cup in 1999.

And he insisted that New Zealand must concentrate on their own game this tme around.

"I remember them coming out pretty strong in the first 20 minutes," he said.

"But we must make sure we stick by what we want to do in game and get our pattern going. We're not comfortable we've got it down pat yet."

Links to more New Zealand stories


Williams given all-clear
08 Oct 03  |  New Zealand

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