Call it a second shove or a second wind but whatever its name, the All Blacks have built their 2018 gameplan on being able to up the intensity in the final quarter.

They want to surge in the back half of the game, leave opponents gasping for air, unable to respond to the shift in gear.

In fact, they really want to be turning the screw in the last half hour which is exactly what they did in the opening test against France.

Test rugby is a little like a 400m race where both teams tend to be in decline in the last stretch and the winner is usually the one who slows and wanes the least.


But what the All Blacks want to be doing is accelerate coming down the straight and not just outlive the opposition, but throw more at them than they did in the first 50 minutes.

The idea is to up the speed, increase the accuracy and ask a whole new set of questions.

Much of the onus for that sits with the bench. They have to get on the field with their fresh legs and not only use them to damage the opposition but to squeeze a bit more out of those who started.

The unfortunate and ill-deserved yellow card to Paul Gabrillagues gave the All Blacks an opening – a numerical advantage to exploit at exactly the time they wanted to be breaking the French. But in truth, yellow card or not, the All Blacks' breakthrough looked like it was well on the way.

"I thought 10 minutes before halftime we started to understand what we had to do which was to look after the football a bit more and try to go through the middle rather than go round them," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"Slowly we picked them apart. Did we think we were going to score that many points? No, but we ended up quite happy with the way we were playing."

All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock said that after soaking up 30 minutes of French pressure in the first half, the reality slowly dawned on the players that they needed to up the speed of the game and be more forceful and dynamic around the ruck area.

"We could feel that we were going well when we played with a bit of tempo," said Whitelock.


"We got those same messages from upstairs and reaffirm what we were feeling. We really tried to speed the game up to a point after we had that message."

What particularly pleased Hansen was the energy and desire, especially as so many players – particularly in the pack – were short of rugby.

"What we are trying to do is going to take a bit of time so you can't judge it in 40 minutes," he said.

"It is still going to take a lot of bedding down. What I really liked though was that we got excited and played football.

"We were a wee bit slow in the first 30 minutes of the game. We were a bit slow to react and see things.

"What I enjoyed seeing was that as time went on people got better and better and our basic style of game was there for everyone to see."