"It's up to us to go out there and take it" - Cane

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Captain and flanker Sam Cane said while the side was proud of their performance in their 53-3 win over Argentina at the last outing, it was time to back it up as they had not been pleased with their inconsistency this year.


"What better time with a trophy like this on the line? It's a tough place to play Aussie in Australia. We haven't always had great success here so being a two-match series instead of three this one is critical," he said.


"They've got a very good forward pack. They have had a lot of success with their driving maul, and, when they get humming, they can score points quickly.


"They've picked a loose forward trio that are all good, strong ball carriers, so we're anticipating the game is going to be quite physical. The breakdown is always important. But, often, the result of the breakdown is how well the team is playing on top to getting over the gain line and carry, so they've picked a loose forward trio to, hopefully, do that, and it's our job to nullify that and put it back over them.


"We've done a lot of work on them and focused on ourselves as always. We've had a good week of prep, we got over here nice and early."



There had been some disruption to their usual plan with the Thursday night game, but he said they couldn't wait to play.


While there was a fear of losing the Bledisloe, they used that as a positive to motivate them not to lose it on their watch.


They don't look at defending the Cup, it came up each year, and it was on the line for both teams to have a good chance of winning it.


"It's up to us to go out there and take it."


The Australians were always confident in their ability and had shown what they could do time and again.


"There's been some absolute classic matches in the time that I've been involved where games go right down to the wire. I expect the intensity to be right up there from the outset. It will be a brutal encounter. We're ready for it."


Having Scott Barrett play on the blindside flank made sense when Brodie Retallick was back at lock.


"He [Retallick] loves these encounters, then [No8] Hoskins [Sotutu] has been patiently waiting for his opportunity after another impressive Super Rugby campaign. He's been training the house down and putting in a good show in helping us prepare each week."


Cane said the All Blacks had been improving with each outing in the Championship and, even in their first Test loss to Argentina, there were a lot of areas they got right, but they didn't get the scoreboard right.


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