New Zealand skipper Kieran Read says he and head coach Steve Hansen have worked to ensure the All Blacks will not ease up when they aim to wrap up another Bledisloe Cup success against Australia on Saturday.
Victory over the Wallabies at Eden Park – where Australia have not won since 1986 – would give New Zealand an unassailable 2-0 lead following their 38-13 triumph in Sydney last weekend.
Read’s men are strong favourites to secure the cup for another year and win the Rugby Championship once again, but the vastly experienced number eight knows they cannot allow complacency to creep in.
“Steve does nail it down to your mental application, really,” said Read after the captain’s run in Auckland.
“You get a win, you potentially just psychologically relax a little bit, so it’s a thing as leaders, from my point of view and from his point of view, just to make sure we try and keep guys on edge as much as we can.
“Our focus this week has been on us. It’s been a great week from our point of view. The guys have trained really well. I guess from now it’s about putting the icing on the cake and making sure we come out with great intensity.
“It’s felt really good, so we’ve just got to go out there and perform, that’s all it takes for us.”
“This is Bledisloe two. It’s a chance for us to get both hands on that Cup and play in front of our home fans.”
Kieran Read speaks from the Captain’s Run at @edenparknz.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 24, 2018
Sam Cane has emerged as an injury doubt for the All Blacks after sitting out training on the eve of Saturday’s match.
However, Read suggested his back-row partner was still in line to start, despite suffering from a reported knee injury.
“It’s just precautionary, I think, having a day off today,” said Read when asked about Cane’s fitness.
“At the moment, he’s still good to go.”
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