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All Blacks ready to step up in second Test

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Lynn McConnell     18 Jun 2016     Getty Images

Having struggled for dominance of the breakdown area in Auckland, that has been the focus for the All Blacks who know they are facing a desperate Wales side who must win to keep the series alive but who also suffered an embarrassing 7-40 loss to the Chiefs on Tuesday.

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All Blacks captain Kieran Read hinted there was a higher level of focus for the side ahead of the Wellington game.

"We've had a good week, and we're excited about another challenge," he said at the captain's run on Friday.

"We're going to turn up with plenty of intensity this week. We can't wait for things to happen, we have to go out there and do it ourselves," he said.

The speed of the ball from the breakdown would determine how much freedom the All Blacks could play with.

"We can't wait for them to attack. We need to bring a bit more intensity and physicality in our approach [to the breakdown] and that will give us a bit more time and space," Read said.

That would allow the All Blacks to determine their own destiny.

Read didn't think having a southern hemisphere referee, Jaco Peyper would make any difference to the control of the game.

He felt it would still be an open type of game.

"Certainly that's how he likes to ref, we're expecting that," he said.

While there was clarity in thinking around the breakdown when heading into a game, it was a tough law to interpret so it was about getting quick ball and looking after your own destiny in that area you didn't have to worry too much about referees' decisions.
"We expect them to turn up with a lot of heart and plenty of hunger so that hasn't changed from the first Test to this Test so we can't really focus too much on them.

"They've shown their hand and they've been reasonably successful at it so we will be prepared for that and know that we can get a lot better as well.

"I think another week together has been a great, a bit of confidence out of last week so it is just building nicely but we can't rest on where we're at we have to keep working hard to get better," he said.

There had been a conscious effort to improve perceived slackness in turning attack into defence in the first Test. Read said they had been 'catching their breath a bit' so they had learnt from that and would be looking to work better with the guy alongside them and to be where they needed to be.

There also had to be a desire to work as hard as possible. It was tough but you had to work extra hard when it was needed, he said.

They had been pleased to get a game under the belt in Auckland, and they had followed that with a good week of preparation in Wellington where the weather had been great.

"We're excited about another challenge. It will be great to get back out there and hopefully we can improve on what we did last week," he said.