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Suncorp demons to be exorcised

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Sportal.co.nz     17 Oct 2012     Getty Images

"I played the whole game and it's not nice to lose in the black jersey. Losing to Aussie in Aussie hurts a bit more," Whitelock said at the All Blacks training base in Christchurch.

"A few of the guys in the present squad played that game so we're looking forward to getting over there and trying to right that wrong."

Recalling that 25-20 loss in the Investec Tri Nations Test, Whitelock said that a couple of early injuries forced players to slot into unaccustomed positions.

"That didn't help at all but a number of things didn't quite go our way.

"The breakdown was quite slow and they scored a couple of long-range tries which didn't help."

Despite having beaten Australia twice convincingly this season to leave the third Bledisloe Test a dead rubber, Whitelock was not under-estimating the opposition hit hard by a raft of injuries with wing Digby Ioane the latest casualty.

"You can never write them off even if they put out their 10th side. They've got great depth across the board and will definitely be a challenge."

Whitelock certainly won't be holding back after being benched for the first Investec Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Wellington because his less experienced teammates, Luke Romano and Brodie Retallick, were displaying better form.

"As players everyone wants to be out there and playing 80 minutes and touching the ball as many times as they can. Everyone is trying to do that now and if it takes someone to be dropped from the team then obviously they'll learn from that experience as I did myself."

Centre Conrad Smith was also in the last losing All Blacks team but while it was still in his memory he preferred to focus on the Brisbane Test this Saturday.

"We're in a pretty buoyant mood at the moment. We are playing well and strung together some wins. We want a good thing to keep going, but we're aware of what threat the Aussies pose and it's always good fun playing them.

"We're going to play a Wallaby side that will want to ambush us and they'll be looking forward to this."