Rugby: All Blacks ready to back up last week's performance

Kieran Read says his side are ready to back up their performance from last week as they try to retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 14th year. Photo / Getty Images
Kieran Read says his side are ready to back up their performance from last week as they try to retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 14th year. Photo / Getty Images

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read says his side are ready to back up their performance against the Wallabies last week with another big effort in Wellington tomorrow as they seek to retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 14th year.

Another victory will see the trophy - second only to the World Cup in terms of importance to the All Blacks - remain here, and following a captain's run in the rain at Westpac Stadium today Read said his side were looking forward to setting a new standard.

"We're a pretty proud bunch and the Bledisloe Cup means a lot to us so obviously we've got to do a job tomorrow night to hang on to it," he said. "It's never easy backing up a great performance as Steve [Hansen] has said, and we're looking to go out there and do that and stamp our mark on the game early."

Asked what the All Blacks could improve on following the 42-8 of the Wallabies at Sydney's ANZ Stadium, Read said: "Our control of the ball needs to be a lot better.

We probably coughed up too much pill in the second half last week, and then looking ahead to tomorrow night our territory game is going to be pretty crucial against a team that has a few kickers - they'll look to really come at us there."

Quade Cooper returns to the No10 jersey for the Wallabies, but Read said the selection of the controversial playmaker, criticised in the past for targeting former skipper Richie McCaw, wasn't an issue.

"We're here to play footy against whoever it is. I know in the past in New Zealand it's created a bit of a stir but a lot of our guys probably weren't involved in those moments and so it's another name on the team sheet for them."

- NZ Herald

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