Meads influence extends to modern locks

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Lynn McConnell     22 Aug 2017     Getty Images

Retallick said he had seen footage of Meads playing and that helped him understand who and what he was in rugby, "For what he did in the game back in the day and with his skill set, he was a legend of the game and he was a legend of the All Black legacy. I think that's made a bit of an impact on all the boys and the team.

"There is a group which has done something extra special for the team and he'd be part of that group.

"He probably wasn't in the forefront of everybody's minds but if you went to anybody in the squad and asked them about Colin Meads and what he was about they'd be able to answer it. I think that in itself is pretty special," he said.

Whitelock said, "It was amazing when he had the ball in one hand and would run around players and run over the top of them.

"He played with that hard, physical edge and I think that's set up a lot of rugby players from when he was playing. He obviously had a massive career, he played for a long time and there are a lot of players who have tried to take some things out of his game. It's been passed on from generation to generation," he said.

Whitelock said he had met Sir Colin only briefly but it had been a thrill that he went out of his way to say 'Hi' to him and ask how he was doing and he hoped the players of today would do the same sort of thing in the future whether they be fans or supporters.

Retallick said his own meeting with Sir Colin had been at an awards dinner but there was something special about meeting legends of the game that inspired you.

Whitelock said after their review of Saturday's 54-34 win in Sydney the All Blacks had been caught up in trying to play too much.

"When we just focus on our individual role normally it helps the team out [but] we went away from that," he said.

Doing what they did for the first 50 minutes needed to be done for the whole 80 minutes and that was what they would be looking to do in Dunedin, he said.

"It shouldn't matter what the scoreboard says, you should be out there playing to the best of your ability at any stage," he said.

Retallick said part of the mental side of any sport was being able to do it for the whole duration of the game. If they were honest they thought it might be easier in the second half, came out and scored two quick tries and felt it was going to keep happening like that.

They would also be looking at the scrummaging as a result of penalties conceded. He felt the scrums were a little different to Super Rugby where before the 'set' call there was a lot of weight going through and the Australians were not doing that. As a result the All Blacks were over-extending and collapsing and giving away penalties.

It was just a case of New Zealand adapting better and applying pressure where they could, he said.

The All Blacks were expecting Australia to come at them with more physicality in Dunedin and they would be looking to take it to the All Blacks up front.

Retallick said of his Chiefs team-mate Kane Hames, who had been called up as replacement for Wyatt Crockett on the loosehead of the scrum, that the big changes to his game were in his round-the-field play. He had always been a good scrummager and always held up his end of the scrum but his work, ball-carrying and clean out and defence work had really stepped up.