All Blacks seek earlier control in Dunedin

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Lynn McConnell     24 Jun 2016     Getty Images

All Blacks captain Kieran Read said they were expecting another strong showing from Wales who had been a hard nut to crack in the first two Tests. They were physical and they backed themselves and that wouldn't change.


"We've just got to try and get on top of them a bit quicker than we have in the last couple of games," he said.

The new players in the side were excited about their opportunity and being local lads with the Highlanders they were set to go out and 'rip in' to action.

"It's a nice mix, I think the boys, as a team want to go out there and deliver a really great performance I guess to really put an exclamation mark on the series.

"Beaudy [Beauden Barrett] is pretty excited to get a start, and he's been awesome and George [Moala] as well, he's a different dynamic I guess for us in the backline and he's going to go well this week," he said.

Blindside flanker Elliot Dixon was an abrasive player and had a lot of Jerome Kaino's qualities who he has replaced for the game, and Read had felt his style when the Crusaders played the Highlanders.

"He'll bring a lot of physicality I'm sure. He'll be pretty excited to impart himself on the game so it's all about him doing his bit in that trio, so he won't change his game too much," Read said.

The new players were experienced, it wasn't as if they were 19 or 20, they had been around for a while and had the benefit of three weeks in camp to know what to do and they had been comfortable, Read said.

"I think perhaps we got a bit too intense in our minds early and you can't go out and expect to dominate a team right from the word go. The games are tough, the Welsh make you work for it and it takes, sometimes 45-50 minutes, and other times it takes 70 minutes so we'll keep working hard and certainly we just want to have more control early on in our game so we can dictate a few of those terms early," he said.

Training on Forsyth Barr Stadium it had been great preparation all week and with the roof over their heads and the crowd on Saturday night things were going to be loud and they were expecting a hectic game.

They were looking for a game that was physically demanding on the Welsh and they had shown in the second half of the first two Tests when they had got it right it paid dividends.