All Blacks centre Conrad Smith says if the Kiwis aren’t at their best against the Springboks they will lose.
The All Blacks have admitted the Springboks performance in Brisbane has struck fear into them. But they say that’s a good thing.
Veteran centre Smith, speaking on behalf of the squad, said that if the All Blacks didn’t bring their ‘A’ game they’d lose against the Springboks in Auckland.
The All Blacks are unbeaten in 31 Tests at Eden Park and have won their last 30 Tests. The Springboks drew 18-all at Eden Park in 1994 in the third of a three Test series. New Zealand had already won the series 2-0.
The last time the Boks played at Eden Park in 2010, the All Blacks won 32-12 and scored four tries to nil.
They were as desperate then to get the win as Smith says they are now.
‘If we’re not up to the mark we’re going to come second so that strikes a bit of fear and hopefully that brings out the best in us.
‘We’re up against a team that’s coming in with form, we always respect whoever we’re playing but it didn’t take much looking at that Springbok performance to know they’re playing some really good footy.
‘You know you’re always going to get physicality against the Springboks but when they are playing really well with the ball in hand it poses a real threat and like I say, it’s something to get excited about.’
Smith has won 68 out of the 75 Tests he has played.