All Blacks keen to impress on Australian soil

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The All Blacks, who lifted the Cup off Australia and have retained it since 2003, haven't won the Cup on Australian soil for 20 years.


All Blacks fullback/first five-eighths Beauden Barrett said that challenge was exciting for the side.


He said the All Blacks went into the drawn first Test in Wellington with a lot of assumptions on how the Wallabies would play, and what differences there might be under new coach Dave Rennie.


"We've learnt a lot in these first two games. With [halfback] Nic White out there, they like to get him running on the back of some pretty strong ball carries. They like to play that fast footy, go-forward footy, and they have got some skilful playmakers and some hard-running backs.


"It's a well-balanced game that they're playing.


"I wouldn't say there are too many surprises. We experienced a rampant performance in Perth last year when everything seemed to work well for them, so I think that's the sort of game they're aiming to play," he said.

That Test was also a reminder for the All Blacks as they prepare for what can happen when things fall into place for Australia and don't go to plan, physically and emotionally, for the All Blacks, he said.


Having missed the first Test through injury, Barrett said he enjoyed the second Test at Eden Park. He felt a lot better than in previous weeks with the niggle he had been working hard on.


It had also been enjoyable to play afternoon rugby on a good day, and surface, with the ball in hand and to play the sort of game he loved to play.


"It is an exciting challenge we've got coming up. At the moment the conditions over here aren't too great, so, we could be faced with some wet weather footy, and we are preparing well at the moment," he said.


Australia were an improving side and were a strong team under Rennie, and the All Blacks had a lot of respect both for their rivals and the work their coach was doing with them.


"We can't focus too much on them either, we've got to look after our backyard and keep growing as All Blacks in 2020," he said.


Barrett said being able to travel was a novelty, and the side had enjoyed their first few days in Sydney.


Having to leave his baby daughter at home for five weeks was a new experience, but he felt it gave him more drive to succeed and it was his reason, his purpose, and his why, to train hard and do everything to achieve that success for them.


"It is hard, but it is a sacrifice we have all had to make," he said.


The All Blacks take on Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup Test at 9.45pm NZT on Saturday 31 October at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

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