ANTON SHAKES HIS HEAD
The All Blacks were going through a rebuilding phase in 2004 when they toured Europe at the end of the year.
They were working on a new continuity game and were also seeing whether Daniel Carter could make the transition from second-five to first-five.
In addition, they were also seeing how Tony Woodcock, Anton Oliver and Carl Hayman gelled as a front-row.
Those changes had come around after the All Blacks had lost their two away Tri Nations games and came home with an idea to try a new way of doing things which included the players being more involved in the running of the team.
By the time they played France in their third test of the tour they had found their confidence and that was shown in two iconic events. The first was the rendition of the haka led, for the first time, by captain Tana Umaga.
His performance was unforgettable. Unbelievably passionate and ferocious. The other moment came late in the second half when the French, having been destroyed in all aspects of the game, but particularly the scrum, quite clearly pretended to have an injury to Peter de Villiers so they could revert to golden oldie scrums. As de Villiers walked o , obviously not injured, All Blacks hooker Oliver just shook his head with pity and said it all.
The All Blacks had the scrum power they finally wanted.