Sportal.co.nz - (1/11/2010)
New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw has demanded a positive reaction from his side when they face England on Saturday after their long unbeaten run came to a dramatic end against Australia in Hong Kong yesterday.
Rather than dwell on that fact, McCaw was instead keen for his men to learn from a below-par performance in the 26-24 defeat and vent their frustrations on Martin Johnson's side at Twickenham next weekend.
"We're proud of what we've done over the last 12 months but there's a week next week as well," said the flanker."I guess the character of the team is how you get back on the horse. We've got a big Test match coming up that we need to make sure we prepare well for and take the lessons out of this game. If you're a quality team, you've got to be able to do that."There's always going to be hiccups along the way, we didn't perform particularly well and we came second. Strength of character comes through in that situation. Win last week or not it's about another game next week and that's how you've got to approach it rather than think about streaks."I think when we look at next week, we take the lessons out of today. Why we made mistakes, that's what you look at leading into next week. The toughest test is always going to be next week because you don't get ahead of yourself."We've got five days to prepare for a big Test match, everyone of them is like that and that's the attitude we will all have."
Coach Graham Henry, meanwhile, claimed he did not think there would not be any long-term repercussions after letting Australia off the hook at Hong Kong Stadium.
"You always want to keep your foot on the throat and we haven't done that and all credit to them," he said."I don't think it's going to affect what's going to happen next year. I think if you look at the history of Rugby World Cups and form going into it, I don't think there's a lot of correlation."I don't think we should read too much into that except to say there are a lot of good rugby teams out there."