Losing to the Wallabies in Sydney was a road-bump the All Blacks and coach Steve Hansen needed.

Not that he liked it. However as the swell of Bledisloe Cup expectation drifts towards the heart of Eden Park tomorrow, Hansen accepts the defeat was a timely wakeup for his side.

Radio Sport's Martin Devlin with All Blacks fullback Ben Smith.

Radio Sport's Martin Devlin talks to former All Blacks skipper Todd Blackadder.

The response was critical, especially from the pack after they missed their lines in Sydney and the backs were left with too much to achieve.

"We were out-passioned and that is an attitudinal thing," Hansen said.


The Wallabies had more desire and if any opposition had the right game-plan and skills without a similar attitude, then they were in trouble.

"When you win as many games as we have, I guess as much as I hate having to say it, you have to have a wee road-bump to remind yourself, coaches included, that you can do things better."

It was hard to detect. Hansen likened it to cleaning windows, where you thought you'd done a good job but you'd missed a few little corner bits. That was the drop-off which was hard to notice.

Rugby players were similar. When they had played for some time they could get a little comfortable about their roles. It was better if everyone was a little on edge about their game and perhaps the All Blacks did not have enough of that in Sydney.

Wallaby coach Michael Cheika claims he was unaware of the hostility directed at Quade Cooper in New Zealand but that would not have changed his selection for tomorrow's Bledisloe Cup decider.

"I know we're a better team than we were last weekend and the team knows that so we have to adjust a few things and hope that gives us a performance we are proud of on Saturday."

Hansen and the selectors said World Cup decisions still had a way to run with tomorrow's test and some rounds of the ITM Cup before the deadline.

Daniel Carter had copped some criticism after Sydney after getting big raps from his previous test against Argentina. He was one of a number who suffered in Sydney because of the forward issues.

It was not surprising the Wallabies had picked Quade Cooper because they wanted to road-test a range of their players for the World Cup and Eden Park was the greatest gauge of that ability.


It would also be a great setting for the remarkable Richie McCaw who would set a world record for test appearances. He always put the team first and was such an extraordinary player, Hansen could not think of him playing one poor game in the black jersey.