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Cruden ticked his boxes in Bledisloe triumph

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Lynn McConnell     24 Aug 2014     Getty Images

He wanted to play his natural game in the second Bledisloe Cup/Investec Test but that had been dependent on the forwards doing things really well which they had achieved.

Cruden said the forwards had got stuck into their work and were clinical and helped give him an easier ride.

"I really wanted to stand up and I think I was able to do that behind a fantastic forward effort tonight.

"Games are won up front and that certainly was the case tonight," he said.

New Zealand had won the games within games, especially during the first half, and especially when Australia were down to 14 men.

Memories of the frustrations of the first game in Sydney fuelled the All Blacks in Auckland.

"We were challenged by the coaches and the management and I think we had our backs up against the wall and I suppose we had that sort of mentality. We needed to come out fighting and I think we really showed that," he said.

The preparation for the first game had been good, although there was something missing which he wasn't quite sure what it was. But that element was certainly there this week and had done the trick, Cruden said.

Replacement back Beauden Barrett pulled off another of his miracle defensive efforts when running down Australian dangerman Israel Folau when he appeared certain to score a try. But Barrett, running on the diagonal, reeled him in.

Barrett, who performed a similar feat in the Ellis Park thriller last year in catching flying South African Willie le Roux said he backed his speed in open territory like that, especially having fresh legs when coming off the bench while Folau had been on the field all game and had made several strong breaks which would have taken their toll on his speed.