All Blacks: Nonu and Kaino injury worries

By Patrick McKendry of APNZ in Sydney

Midfielder Ma'a Nonu and loose forward Jerome Kaino are injury worries for the All Blacks following last night's disappointing 12-12 Bledisloe Cup draw with Australia in Sydney.

Nonu left the ANZ Stadium pitch in the second half with a sore shoulder and will have scans in Auckland tomorrow ahead of next Saturday's crunch return encounter at Eden Park. Kaino has an elbow problem and will also be checked.

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"I'd say we'd be sweating on whether or not he will be right next week," coach Steve Hansen said of Nonu today.

Nonu's absence would be keenly felt by the All Blacks as they attempt to atone for a below-par performance against a Wallabies team growing in confidence by the week.

No Australian team has beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986 but Ewen McKenzie's side will believe this is their year.

A clean sweep of France in June and the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory have imbued his team with a self-belief that is almost palpable.

Ryan Crotty, in as cover for Conrad Smith, who rushed home to be with his wife Lee-Ann for the birth of their first child which at this stage hasn't eventuated, will be kept in the squad. If Smith returns he is likely to partner Malakai Fekitoa in midfield.

"I'm sure we'll get Conrad back at some stage this week... things seem to be progressing okay there," Hansen said.

"There's a lot of disappointment for a number of reasons," he said of last night's result.
"There's only three teams in the history of tier one nations who have won 17 games in a row, so that in itself is a massive achievement. It's disappointing we didn't get to 18 but I'm pleased we gutsed out a draw I guess."


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