Friday, November 05, 2010

McCaw "response will prove how good we really are"

An extensive breakdown of their loss to the Wallabies has led to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and his senior players urging the team to respond to the 26-24 loss, and put the lessons learned into practice against England at Twickenham.

The general message coming out of the All Blacks camp is that they want to put things right, highlighting that they were deficient in key area's such as decision making and keeping their foot down on an opponents throat.

"The big thing is that you learn your lessons," said McCaw. "The nature of Test rugby is that you have got to do everything as well as you can and that's what we didn't do last week. So hopefully we are better for it."

McCaw said that nothing had been spared in the de-brief of their loss to Australia.

"What the game came down to was that early on we didn't have a lot of the ball but every time we got it we gave it straight back and put ourselves under pressure. We did that towards the end of the game, too. We had opportunities and we stuffed up a couple of set pieces when we had a chance to take the game by the scruff of the neck," McCaw said."You learn your best lessons when you haven't got away with it. Those decisions under pressure, the ones about whether you chance your arm or you don't, those are the ones you have got to learn."

The All Blacks first defeat in 16 test matches might have meant that the team would have taken it in their stride, with Graham Henry remarking last week that it was only a matter of time before the Wallabies broke their losing drought.

But the world's number one ranked team prides themselves on their high standards, and McCaw's provincial team mate and number eight Kieran Read said that a better performance was expected in London.

"What we did last week was not good enough. It was a good wake-up call for us to get back to the high standards that we set," Read said.

Some feel that the All Blacks are ripe for the taking, but to lose back-to-back tests is something that no one in the New Zealand test camp is even beginning to entertain.

"Losing two in a row would be unthinkable," said Read."The people at home will tell you that, too, but it's the internal pressure. We don't want to be losing games we feel that we have got the talent to go out and win."

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