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All Blacks' intensity starting to lift

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Lynn McConnell     05 Jul 2017     Getty Images

Kaino said comparisons with a World Cup final in the build-up were valid and the excitement at the All Blacks training session on Tuesday backed that view up.

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"The Lions are a great side and there is a lot of history between these two teams and being 1-1 it does have that feel about it so I'm getting excited about the prospect of being able to play in it," he said.

Whitelock said the post-Test review had been an honest appraisal and was in keeping with their regular process although he added they tried to take lessons whether winning or losing. "We shouldn't have to lose to learn," he said.

Kaino said there was an edge, early in the week, and the side knew the areas they needed to improve on.

"If we get that right we know we'll get the performance we want."

While the Lions had stepped up their physicality, Kaino felt the All Blacks matched it at times and it had been a positive the way the side adapted on the go.

"But I think if we start the way we want to start in games we'll go a long way to winning those games," he said.

Because there was so much emphasis on learning during the week it was easy for the coaches and senior players to pull back on the emotion and the physicality and running so that the game wasn't played too early.
"We know as we get on through the week we want to ramp things up so I'm sure the guys know early on in the week you have to hold yourself back a little bit."

Discipline was important but Kaino said the All Blacks weren't going to go in being cautious.

"We definitely want to impose ourselves physically like they did at the weekend and that's definitely an area we want to improve in," he said. But they would have to be on top of their discipline.

"We know how we can play physical and within the laws so we'll let the referee interpret what he wants to interpret and it's up to us to make sure we do our basics really well," he said.

While there had been a post-game incident in Wellington, Kaino said the All Blacks couldn't afford to let those sorts of things cloud their preparations. They were better left dumped so they could work on what they needed to do to win this weekend, he said.

"I don't think it's within our style to be able to drag things from off the field and carry it on because it hinders what you want to do and how you want to improve. There's always going to be feelings between these two teams and when we cross those white lines we throw it out there but once we leave we should just dump it and not bring it into our preparations," he said.