Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

All Blacks focus on rest before potential record breaker

Brodie Retallick plans to watch a replay of the All Blacks' 57-15 hammering of the Springboks on the long flight back to New Zealand, but otherwise he and his teammates have been given licence to switch off once they return home before preparing for their potentially record-breaking test against the Wallabies at Eden Park.

Coach Steve Hansen is aware of the need for his players to recuperate with their families after their recent labours and travel in order to be in the best possible shape for the dead Bledisloe Cup rubber at their fortress a week on Saturday. Another victory would take the team's winning streak to 18, a world record among tier one nations.

Having celebrated their nine-try thrashing of the Boks in Durban, a performance which once again featured an unstoppable blitz from the All Blacks in the final quarter, Hansen's men will reassemble in Auckland a week on Tuesday next week for a match against Australia which is almost guaranteed to provide fireworks of some sort given the previous two tests between the nations this year.

"The key thing we've got to do is get home and recover because it's a massive trip, we're only home for X-amount of days and then we're meant to be going into camp," Hansen said before the team got on the plane to travel home.

"We'll go in a bit later as we normally do after these trips. We'll probably assemble Tuesday at lunchtime. Hopefully everyone's had a good break and then we can get into the footy."

The All Blacks recorded their biggest winning margin against the Boks, plus handed out their biggest home defeat, but Hansen is adamant talk of further records won't derail a team intent on improving each week.

"If you're honest with yourself and you keep reminding yourself about the inconvenient facts that keeps you grounded," Hansen said. "Whilst it was pretty spectacular, it wasn't perfect. No game ever will be. In the first half we still weren't as clinical as I would like us to be so there's still plenty to work on."

Lock Brodie Retallick, in spectacular form once again at Kings Park, said: "It [the record] is something that we have talked about over the last couple of weeks - that we need to take it one game at a time to have the opportunity to contest it, now that we've done that ... it will be a huge motivating factor heading into the Auckland test."

After the Wallabies test the All Blacks will have a week off before they travel to Chicago to play Ireland on November 6. Further away tests follow against Italy, Ireland and France.

Hansen will select a squad of 36 for the trip. "We've pretty much got the end-of-year tour finalised. We've just got a couple of places to keep tinkering with and it will be about combinations and what we want to do and injuries that happen between now and then I guess."

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