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Coles, Naholo reflect concussion understanding

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Lynn McConnell     20 Oct 2017     Getty Images

Wing Naholo said having to stand down due to concussion when wanting to get out and play was sometimes frustrating and there were times when you wondered what the medical staff were doing. But at the same time you understood what the doctors were trying to do on your behalf.
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It was a case of knowing the team could do the job without you and trusting that while also trusting the doctor and to go through the process and help you come back better as a result.

Hooker Coles, who also had an extended period out with concussion earlier in the year, said everyone was different in how they reacted to it.

Early in his situation he felt the need to be involved with the team but that possibly wasn't the best thing for him whereas someone like Barrett was comfortable in the team environment and by going home on Friday he had the best of both worlds by having some time away and a chance to freshen up.

Naholo said it was good to reclaim a starting spot in Brisbane and it was also good to have had a game, a Ranfurly Shield defence, for Taranaki last week, a game he enjoyed. He said he wanted to get out and do his job well against Australia. It will only be the 14-Test wing's second Test against them, the first being in last year's 42-8 win in Sydney.

Coles said it had been awesome to play against retiring Australian veteran Stephen Moore who would go down in history as one of the great Wallabies.

"He's got a never-give-up attitude and I'm a bit younger but I've always looked up to a guy like that and I know that will give Aussie plenty of motivation because they will want to send out Stephen Moore the best way they can and it's been awesome to play against a great guy and a guy who has given so much for his country," he said.

Like most hookers they enjoyed some on-field conversation although the nature of the talk wasn't ideal for public consumption.

"Everyone knows I like a bit of a chat on the field and I think that's pretty healthy as long as it doesn't go too far and you leave it on the field, that's sweet as," he said.

At the same time knowing the incentive Australia would have to see Moore off in style created an edge for the All Blacks.

"Everyone's talking about it being a dead rubber but at the end of the day it's about the All Blacks vs the Wallabies, that gives plenty of motivation on both sides to finish the year strong before both teams head on tour.

"They've been building a lot of confidence through their last games and I'm sure they'll be confident in themselves. We've got a lot of belief in our team as well, it's going to be a great game.

"In past years the third Bledisloe has been pretty close and tight so we're looking forward to it," he said.