Foster demands ball security

Date published: August 5 2015

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New Zealand assistant coach Ian Foster admits negating Australia's breakdown threat is going to be key when they run out in Sydney on Saturday.

This weekend's showdown will decide the 2015 Rugby Championship winner as both the Wallabies and All Blacks enter on the back of two victories apiece.

Australia are much-improved from last year and whatever the result they will better their 2014 effort in this competition, with the return of scavenger David Pocock from injury having played a major role in their revival.

Foster therefore is keen for his side to be secure in possession at ruck time.

"It's a sign of perhaps everyone still learning the roles we want when you allow opposition scavengers to get in and steal the ball," he told stuff.co.nz.

"It's either we've made decisions that have got us into an isolated position or maybe we haven't been desperate enough to get there and clean out as quick as we can.

"Against South Africa we saw a bit of both. We've got to be better than that. It's probably typical of where we're at after three tests and a little bit excusable with the amount of changes we've had, but we've spoken at length about that this week.

"We're trying to improve our decision making in attack all the time and the accuracy of our cleaning to make sure we do retain the ball."

Pocock is set to join forces with former Wallaby captain Michael Hooper in the second-half in Sydney and that will make New Zealand even more wary of the ruck area, with Foster admitting the pair could have an impact.

"The fact that Hooper and Pocock are going to be on the park at some point hasn't been the intense focus but, clearly, it's going to give us some incentive to get some of those things right," revealed the assistant coach.

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