Patrick McKendry

Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Draw has put All Blacks on edge - McCaw

Richie McCaw of the All Blacks. Photo / Getty Images.
Richie McCaw of the All Blacks. Photo / Getty Images.

Richie McCaw has compared the build-up to tomorrow's Bledisloe Cup test to the one which came following the All Blacks' thrashing at the hands of the Wallabies in Sydney in 2008.

The All Blacks were beaten 34-19 at ANZ Stadium in July of that year before rebounding with a 39-10 victory at Eden Park a week later.

McCaw said after this afternoon's captain's run at the stadium, in which injured first-five Dan Carter took a limited part as he prepares for his return from cracked leg bone, that the feeling was similar because last weekend's 12-12 draw with the Wallabies felt like a loss.

"I think over the years there's been occasions where a week apart things change a lot. I think back to 2008 when we got put to the sword in Sydney and there was a fair bit of edge that week," McCaw said. "I suppose it's comparable, definitely."

McCaw said it was up to the All Blacks' pack to provide a better platform tomorrow night.
"I actually thought in the first quarter of an hour we did all right, but we certainly let the Wallaby pack get back into it.

Perhaps they had the edge in the second half, so you can imagine telling the big boys that on Monday, they weren't that happy. But it's all words, it's about putting it into action tomorrow night. We've got to supply our backs with better ball than we did last week."

He added of the need to play within the laws laid down by referee Romain Poite: "We need to focus on what we can and make it as easy as possible for the guy with the whistle. If we can do that hopefully we have any excuses.

"The big thing is we have an opportunity to play at a big stadium where the boys love playing at. You don't always get these opportunities to go out and perform. The Bledisloe is on the line and if we get the job done that's a big incentive."

- APNZ

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