All Blacks have to trust their ability - Whitelock

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Whitelock said the circumstances had been a little different in 2011, before the Rugby World Cup triumph, when players had been rested at home from a trip to South Africa before they returned a week later for a Test in Australia.

 

But the message then was to trust their ability as rugby players. It was about not losing confidence and going out to do what they were good at, he said.

 

The message was the same even if the side was winning, but not playing at their best.

 

"You've got to trust yourself, trust your instincts and go out there and play All Black rugby," he said.

 

Fellow lock Patrick Tuipulotu said the pressure this weekend was no more or less than that the All Blacks were always under, especially internally, and that always out-weighted the external pressure.

It was a situation echoed by Sam Whitelock.

 

They said learning from the loss had been their motivation for Saturday's Test.

 

Coping with the 'niggle' that was a factor in their loss to Argentina was something all All Blacks sides had to learn.

 

Tuipulotu said, sometimes it was the hardest thing to walk away from intimidation, but it was something they had to do, especially in the heat of a tight Test match.

 

"It's important that we know we're going to get it but to move on we need to move on to the next job and think about getting the result we want," he said.

Whitelock said having a week off as a team when away from home was something new with challenges, but it was also good, in the wake of their defeats, to have times for conversations that were harder to have during a regular Test week because there wasn't time.

 

"It's been good to use last week differently, it means we're hopefully in a better spot this week going into this last game. We're all pretty excited to get out there and show all the improvements we've made over the last eight or nine days," he said.

 

Combating the traditional end-of-year syndrome where there can be a danger of focusing on the summer break was something the more senior players were aware of, and Whitelock said he was confident it wasn't an issue for the side this time around.

 

There was a concentration on the 'now' and staying in it rather than looking ahead, he said.

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