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McCaw ponders - To win, or to win attractively?

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James Mortimer     14 Sep 2012     Getty Images

But one gets the feeling that McCaw isn't satisfied.

Ahead of the World Champions first test at Forsyth Barr Stadium, McCaw didn't look like a captain who hadn't lost since playing at Suncorp Stadium last year.

He said that even without a defeat this season, the All Blacks were quite critical of their performances so far.

"We're hard on ourselves," McCaw said.
 
"We're happy but not satisfied. Six in a row (in 2012) is not too bad but if we sat back and thought we're as good as we're going to get we'll get beaten real quick. So we keep looking for improvement.

"It's a great position to be in. It would be horrible if it was the other way round, looking to improve and we hadn't won."

McCaw however is far from a pragmatic captain, and wants his players to react, even if admitting that that there needed to be better decision making from his side.

"It comes down to individuals making the right decisions and doing things you'd expect anyone to be able to do," he said.

"The difference is in tests it's under pressure and that's what we've got to get right, building pressure on the opposition rather than putting it on ourselves.

"There is times we haven't been as accurate as we would have liked but you don't want to stop guys trying to play. It's a matter of getting the timing right to do that, and you want guys to keep creating those opportunities.

"But the challenge we're going to have tomorrow is going to be as big as we've faced for a long time so it's going to put even more pressure on that. We've got to get those decisions right and the skills to follow, then hopefully we can implement what we're after."

While there was a feeling within the All Blacks camp that they still had to fire on all cylinders, McCaw said it was important to put together success first.

"We're going out there to win, that's first and foremost," he said.
 
"I suppose how we do that is our performance and if it's good to watch or not, that's sort of secondary.

"We realise we've got guys with skill and strengths we want to be able to use. Putting all that aside we want to improve as a team every week and we've done that in stages but haven't put it together yet.

"But you play test matches to win. Some days they're going to be tough and messy and if you're good enough to come out on the right side, so be it."