All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty insists the All Blacks have learned from their shock defeat to the Springboks and are desperate to make amends in Sunday's re-match in Pretoria.

The 30-year-old 40-test veteran believes the All Blacks took the foot off the pedal after scoring two early tries to allow South Africa to launch a comeback in their 36-34 victory in Wellington.

Those lapses won't be repeated at Loftus Versfeld with the All Blacks focused on improving their accuracy on attack and sharpening their defence after the Springboks capitalised on a wayward pass and lineout throw to score two tries.

"We were feeling good when we were 12 points up and we let them back in ourselves," said Crotty.


"They created a bit of pressure but we let them back into the game. The learnings were that we could have executed a bit better down the stretch. Also that we always believed that we were going to get it done and we didn't and it hurt.

"We gifted them a couple of tries. It's about eliminating those and fixing a couple of learnings defensively from last time."

The bitter result stunned the Steve Hansen coached side who are determined to bounce back to avoid losing consecutive tests to the old foe for the first time since 2009.

New Zealand showed marked improvement in Sunday's 35-17 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires but Crotty admitted the All Blacks were still using the pain of the previous week's loss as motivation to finish their Rugby Championship campaign on a high.

"You could walk around the changing room and see the hurt and see how disappointed the team was," he said.

"That's different for everyone. You just have to use it in how you prepare and how genuine your week is and your preparation. You don't leave any stone unturned with regards to that, that's how you get the performance on Saturday.

"You don't just bottle up the hurt and go out there and rip in on Saturday, it's everything you do Sunday till Saturday. That's how you use that as extra motivation with regards to your preparation."

With the Springboks growing further in confidence after dispatching the Wallabies 23-12 last Saturday, Crotty was adamant the All Blacks were bracing themselves for a typically rugged contest against their traditional rivals.


The All Blacks might have had the wood on South Africa in recent years but that dominance has done little to dissolve the fierce competition between the two proud rugby nations.

"The gloss has never not been there for us," said Crotty. "They are one of the best test match sides in the world. [The suggestion otherwise is] potentially something that the media here put on them but we always respect them.

"They are an outstanding side and have class players right across the field and it's always a massive challenge when we come up against them.

"South Africa got one on us and we are extremely motivated to come here and put it right. Maybe that (defeat) provides a little bit more (motivation)."

Springboks first five-eighth Handre Pollard is expecting a huge response from the All Blacks and said the home side must match the visitor's intensity if they are to claim another famous win.

"When you go back in history every time they've lost a test they've come back fighting at 120 percent the next time they play that same team," said Pollard.

"So we know they're going to come out, be more accurate and physical. It's up to us to match that and go one step further."