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Read says All Blacks must lift the bar higher

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Sportal.co.nz     26 Nov 2013     Getty Images

Completing a 100 percent campaign with their dramatic injury-time 24-22 win over Ireland would be a lifelong source of pride but after a break over the summer it would be back to work to continue the quest for advances in the game, Read told Sportinglife.com.

"People will talk about how good this team is, but our job is to go out and win Test matches," he said.

"We've created a real bond in this squad and we're right up there with everyone able to do the job.

"You can't look too far ahead in this game, you've got to adapt and change.

"Play like we did this year next year, and it won't be good enough.

"Teams are improving all the time, so we've got to keep doing that too, that's one thing we've learned over the years," Read said.

On their northern tour they had turned around their 2012 loss to England and by achieving their perfect record they could forget about that and concentrate on the future.

Achieving a perfect record was a tough task and the win over Ireland reinforced just how hard it was.

Ireland had their reward for starting well but New Zealand then managed to shut them out for the result of the game which had been a good effort by the side.

And a feature of the win, the match-winning conversion by first five-eighths Aaron Cruden who had stepped up in Dan Carter's absence through injury had shown the depth the All Blacks could call on.

"I think it's shown all year we can do that," Read said.

"He's been outstanding for us, he steps up seamlessly and that's great.

"Dan will come back stronger I guess next year, but we've got someone ready to step up whenever needed and that's massive," he said.