MARC HINTON 03/08/2011
Richie McCaw is way too smart to start up a war of words with the Wallabies this week. So he stayed "mum" yesterday no matter how hard the media tried to push him into a little bit of Aussie bashing.
"It's easy to say that when you're on the losing end, [but] you don't want to be accused of sour grapes," he responded to a query on whether Aussie celebrations after the All Blacks lost their last encounter in Hong Kong had "rankled" him. "I guess it showed how much it meant to them, but it would be nice not to see that too much this year any more."
McCaw agreed there was a psychological aspect to Saturday's test at the venue where the World Cup final will be played and where the Wallabies have not beaten the All Blacks since 1986.
"It'd be silly not to say it's pretty important. It's not the end of the world [if we lose], but I think it's something we're pretty motivated to do. It's our last test at home and you want to have a good memory going into the next tournament that you've done the job at the place where it's all going to happen later in the year.
"The key for us is to make sure just because we've had some success over the last few years, we don't think it's just going to happen.
"In all those tests we had to work pretty hard to win, and this week will be no different. Last week was a step in the right direction, but this being the last home game till September we want to make sure we do it right. What that means down track I'm not sure, but there's a fair bit of motivation to win this test." McCaw admitted his own confidence was building nicely after a satisfying performance in the near-record 40-7 thrashing of the Springboks in Wellington.
"Last weekend was my best game of the year, and I'm getting close to where I need to be," he said. "I'm starting to feel like the rhythm is coming back."