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All Blacks need to maintain focus on core roles

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Lynn McConnell     18 Aug 2014     Getty Images

Two meetings on Monday set the agenda for the side which has gone into its preparation awaiting scan results on second five-eighths Ma'a Nonu and flanker Jerome Kaino, and the return of centre Conrad Smith from paternity leave.

No.8 Kieran Read said the talk had been about the way the side could improve and while that was nothing too different from normal, it was about the side getting their game right.

Saturday's first-up 12-12 draw in Sydney left both camps frustrated with the outcome, New Zealand having been denied the 18th win that would have given them sole ownership of the world record for consecutive Test victories and Australia for not having won a game that could have been theirs.

Read said it was about the All Blacks playing the game they wanted to play.

The side would need to work hard across the park to get into position so they could best use the ball they won.

"There are times when you don't perform as well and you have got to dig in. They [Australia] have a team that will certainly perform better if they get the right conditions. That's just the same as us so we expect a totally different game.

"You have to put as much pressure on as you can but do that legally," he said.

When calls appeared to go against them it was important for the All Blacks not to let that affect other parts of their game.

"As a team we can't afford to let that happen because if it is playing on our minds we are not doing what we want to do.

"If calls do happen during the game you just pass them by and move on to your next task."

The concession of penalties was an area the All Blacks needed to improve, Read said.

"We can't be giving away the number of penalties that we did give away last week. I don't think it is an 'issue', it's about us being disciplined enough to back ourselves and our systems," he said.

It was now a case of putting the draw behind and shifting the focus to the job ahead.

"We've got a great opportunity this week to do well and do the business and lock away the Bledisloe [Cup]."

What needed to be concentrated on was the things the All Blacks traditionally did well – carry hard, tackle well and recycle the ball quickly.