David Pocock’s influence in the Rugby World Cup final can be countered if the All Blacks get their breakdown execution right, says flanker Sam Cane.
Wallabies No.8 Pocock looms as an enormous threat at Twickenham on Saturday, boasting an unmatched ability to turn over possession at the tackle.
In conjunction with openside flanker Michael Hooper, Pocock was destructive in Australia’s 29-15 semi-final win over Argentina.
It was a similar story when the Wallabies strangled the All Blacks at the breakdown in their 27-19 win in Sydney in August.
Pocock was unexpectedly left on the reserves bench a week later as New Zealand reigned supreme in the collisions in a 41-13 win at Auckland’s Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
All Blacks reserve openside Cane wasn’t surprised by the 27-year-old’s formidable display against Argentina.
“He had another very strong game,” Cane sad.
“For us it’s pretty simple. We have to get our ball carries right and focus on the urgency of our cleaners, that’s what we have to do to the best of our ability.
“If we get that right hopefully we can nullify the amount of times he gets on the ball.”
Assistant coach Ian Foster didn’t want to single out Pocock and Hooper, believing numerous Wallabies are proficient at the breakdown and that they work as a team as an effective defensive outfit.
“The lessons we have learned from Sydney and Eden Park we’ve already applied in our game and put into practice,” Foster said.
“They have got some areas of strength that they’ll try to attack us with and we have got some areas of strength we’ll try and attack them.”