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Test will feature another breakdown battle

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Lynn McConnell     19 Oct 2016     Getty Images

Flanker Jerome Kaino said the Australians had realised that when David Pocock wasn't there, more of them had to get involved in the breakdown and if Pocock was back that would add a lot more steel to what the All Blacks needed to have at the breakdown.

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The New Zealand team at the moment, compared to others he had been involved in, didn't have the experience other teams had but there was a level of confidence where the young players liked backing themselves and the coaches had recognised that by giving them free rein and the results had been seen.

"These young guys don't get carried away with themselves, they're quite grounded and I think that helps with us older guys in making sure that we front up every week we get out there and hopefully we can put a performance together that we are proud of," he said.

Kaino said there was no way of escaping talk of the Test record for consecutive wins and he said for the All Blacks it was a good way to get excited.

"We love playing at Eden Park, I love playing there and there's no reason why we shouldn't get excited about it, it's a great occasion for us.

"There's a lot of guys here who were involved in some of those failed attempts but it's a different mindset, a different team this time around and we're getting excited about it," he said.
"It's important for us to know that Australia will be a different beast for us this time around. They'll be a lot better than when we played them last in Wellington but it's important for us to know that we're a lot better as well.

"What we've learned in the past is how we prepare during the week although a lot of things will be said in the media or out in the public about how we'll easily beat them it is important for us not to believe that.

"We're both Test tier one nations and there's only little things in Test matches that win them or lose them so it's for us to get our processes right and get our week right and how we prepare and the weekend can take care of itself," he said.

The Australians had shown their ability in the past to rise to challenges, and this Test would be one. They would be better and the All Blacks knew they were not going to lie down. There was nothing more they liked than to spoil the All Blacks' party and preventing that would be the challenge for the All Blacks.

Kaino said his form at the moment was down to drawing inspiration in the way No.8 and captain Kieran Read was playing and from the competition that Elliot Dixon and Liam Squire were providing for the loose forwards' group.


"You can't help but improve when you have got young guys like that pushing you along. You saw what Liam could do when he came off the bench in South Africa. When you've got that kind of competition in the squad it rubs off onto you and how you play," he said.

Flanker Sam Cane said it hadn't been easy having to sit back and watch the All Blacks overseas while recovering from his hamstring injury because seeing the way they were playing there was a desire to want to be part of it.

But there was an appreciation of how well the side was doing.

"I've enjoyed both sides of it," he said.

Cane said he got up at 4am to watch the Springboks Test, the first time he had done that in six years, and it had been enjoyable.

Whether he would be part of Saturday's Test was a decision for the selectors and while there was a record on the line, Cane said the All Blacks wanted to win every Test.

But it was a fact that there had been close to 5000 Test matches for Tier One nations and to think that in that time no team had won 18 on the trot was 'pretty unbelievable'.

"We realise that we've only given ourselves an opportunity to do it by getting to this stage. If we start worrying about the outcome too early that will tip us up so we've just got to worry about the process and what it takes to get there," he said.

Knowing that David Pocock would be playing was good for the All Blacks because it required them to put emphasis on their carry and clean so they didn't give Australia an in, he said.

Cane had also appreciated the efforts of his Chiefs team-mate centre Anton Lienert-Brown. Not many players stepped into the All Blacks environment as easily as he had, he said.

It had been a long time coming. His first two years out of school he had some bad luck with injuries but he had grown in confidence and possessed a great all-round skill set and was only 21. He was only going to improve.

"I've been lucky enough to know him since he was 18, he's impressive so I'm stoked for him," he said.