All Blacks scrum-half Justin Marshall warned that England's adaptability could prove the key in the latter stages of the tournament.
Marshall says England are "harder to read"
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.
"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
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."