Read makes his call on the Bledisloe Cup

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Read told the All Blacks podcast, powered by SAP, that the Tests in Melbourne on Thursday and Saturday in Auckland a week later would be a couple of great games.


"History has shown us through this Championship no one has gone back-to-back yet, so whoever goes back-to-back will win it won't they? Hopefully, that will be the All Blacks after last week, but you can't take anything for granted.


"The Aussies have been pretty good. I think they do miss [flanker Michael] Hooper with him not being there, and a couple of injuries with their first-fives might limit them a little bit and give us the advantage."


It would be exciting to watch when it was not a foregone conclusion.


"I think the All Blacks will get up and win both those games," he said.


Read played 34 Bledisloe Cup Tests but said it was unfortunate, upon reflection, that they didn't have the social connection with Australia they enjoyed with South Africa.


"We'd go hard on the field [against South Africa] and then enjoy each other's company off the field so it was a bit sad in that respect because every Aussie you meet they are kind of like Kiwis around the world when you catch up."


Looking at the Australians during his era, he said flanker David Pocock was a person they targeted because he was so good.



"He could turn the game when he was on and win turnover after turnover. It was unbelievable how good he was in that area at the breakdown.


"Israel Folau was a freakish player. He was my size, or bigger than me, and able to do what he could do out on the field.


"When we defended the Aussies we were scared of what they could do with the ball. South Africa are pretty blunt and will run straight at you. Aussies will pass the ball and step round you. It was more of a threat for us with them."


One tactic they tried to employ against Pocock was to make him tackle so he wouldn't be able to contest the breakdown.


"Pocock was one you knew if he was anywhere around the ball he was going to have a sniff and, generally, if he gets his hands on it, he'll win it."


Hooper was another, and Read said one of the benefits of playing with him in Japan was the chance to get to know him. Apart from exchanging pleasantries at coin tosses, they hadn't had chances to talk previously, but he found him a good man, and they were in regular contact.


"You realise rugby players are pretty good buggers no matter what jersey they are wearing. He's a good man and it was good to get his psyche as well talking to him about what it was like facing us."


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