All Blacks turn thoughts to winning finish

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Cane (pictured) said the All Blacks were a day ahead of Wales in picking themselves up after the semifinal disappointment and with the swings of the emotional rollercoaster getting less and less extreme as they came down from the weekend thinking was turning towards the game.

 

"Everyone wants to finish the season on a good note and there's still plenty to play for and plenty of reasons to want to perform well, plenty of motivation and I'm looking forward to the game to be honest," he said.

 

He spent Sunday with family not even discussing the game and later in the evening there had been a good team meeting where they aired a few things.

 

Monday had been about moving forward and learning and trying to be better.

 

Cane said sport was brilliant for teaching resilience and that was what they had to show now, resilience.

 

"Things don't always go the way you want them to and sport teaches you that, and that is the way life is too…nothing good is gained from sulking or not moving," he said.

 

At the same time there was the realisation it would be the end of an era with the departure of coach Steve Hansen.

 

"He won't want to talk about it being his last game, he'll be pretty driven on us finishing on a good note," he said.

 

But Cane said he owed a lot Hansen, he first selected him and he had been his only All Blacks coach.

 

"He's a pretty special coach, he's got a real good feel for the group, so he's a little bit more than a coach, he allows the other coaches to execute their roles. He's a very intuitive coach who's not always on the money but generally he's not far off it and I consider myself pretty lucky to have been coached by him for eight years now.

 

Midfielder Sonny Bill Williams said he had faced challenges and adversity throughout his sporting career and that had helped him prepare for the task of finishing off the All Blacks' campaign in Japan.

 

"To be honest straight after the game on Saturday, I can only speak for myself, I didn't really want to play this week but within the space of five or 10 minutes I flipped the script," he said.

 

He realised he wanted to work with his teammates to put some of the lessons from the loss into practice.

 

There was disappointment for all who had been involved in the campaign, not only players and management but family and friends.

 

"The way I look at life, a game doesn't define who I am by any means," he said.

 

There was also the realisation that they had another week in camp with a chance to play again on Friday.

 

Williams added that there would be a lot of coaches putting their hands up to succeed Hansen but one thing he would put to New Zealand Rugby would be to have a Pacific Islander or Maori in the coaching system to have some influence because the way the game was going there were a lot more Islanders and Maoris playing and he felt that could get a lot more out of those players and there was a bit of space for that growth.

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