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Coles gives thumbs up over ribs

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Lynn McConnell     22 Aug 2016     Getty Images

The Bledisloe Cup is on the line in the game with the All Blacks having the chance to wrap up another series with a Test still to play in late-October.

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"I'm close to being 100 percent to be honest," Coles said.

There had been moments during the game when the ribs were a little sore and it had been good to get through the game and be out in the action again.

Coles said while he hadn't been involved in contact work with the team in training in Sydney he had been doing a lot of fitness work.

"I didn't think I'd play but that's footy. These things happen and unfortunately I had to go on two minutes into the match.

"It's been blown out of proportion. There's been a lot of media stuff about it – I wish there wasn't – but that's just the way it is. A lot of rugby players play with injuries and stuff like that, I'm just doing my job," he said.

The players called into the squad as hooking back-up, James Parsons, who has played Test rugby, and Liam Coltman, who had been in the environment before, were quality hookers and it was a case of getting around them and getting them up to speed.
"Those guys are pretty keen to learn and I'm pretty sure they' be pretty keen to impress and on me and Codie [Taylor] to earn a spot," he said.

Flanker Sam Cane said there had been a lot of emphasis during the lead-up to the Test on the breakdown and they had managed to achieve a good supply of quick ball.

"But at the same time [David] Pocock managed to pinch a couple," he said.

"The breakdown is one of those things you never completely get right, there's always areas you can improve in it so we looked at that in our review today. I think you'll see a few of us boys doing work-ons on clean-outs during the week to get it better again."

After the magnitude of their win on Saturday, Cane said they had to expect Saturday in Wellington to be a completely different encounter.

"Any rugby team that is wounded typically bounces back a lot stronger and I wouldn't expect anything less from the Aussies. They'll come here with a real steely determination to prove a point to themselves and to their media who have been a bit rough on them.

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"The best thing we can do is prepare well and go out there and try and put in a good one again. They'll be a lot better, we know that," he said.

Cane said he had enjoyed the game after the good build-up they had in Sydney but it was obvious that a loose forward's job was always easier when the team was going forward.

The All Blacks were aware of the need to follow a good performance with another good performance and that was a challenge not just in rugby but in sport in general to achieve.

"We're certainly not lacking motivation because if we get this one right we get to have a sip out of the Bledisloe and that's something pretty special. That's driving us pretty strongly," he said.