Redemption on the line in Pacific Four finale

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After the pain they suffered in the tournament, coach Allan Bunting said Australia would throw everything at New Zealand.

"We're ready for that. We've focused on a few areas we need to work on, but we know they're going to come out firing."

Australia had changed aspects of their game and was going through a rebuilding process similar to that of New Zealand.

Bunting said it had been a tough loss to Canada but they have had a good few days in Auckland this week.

"The tough ones make you look a little bit deeper. Canada are a good team, they've grown in their kicking game and quite a few of their ladies play in the Premiership [England] and you can see that coming through their game."

Co-captain and openside flanker Kennedy Simon said the lessons from a loss were important.

"We talk about not just letting those lessons slide and making sure we capitalise on the opportunities presented to us.

"But, they're a great side too and they're only growing being part of that sort of northern hemisphere that's good for us to see where we can pick up."

Against Australia, Bunce said the non-selection of co-captain and first five-eighths Ruahei Demant and wing Ruby Tui was part of a balance of wanting to do well against Australia while also preparing for a Rugby World Cup next year.

"We can't rely on a few players, so we want to allow an opportunity to a couple of new players this week.

"That first-five position's a key position, and we need to have some backup there, and Hannah King's been going well."

She showed her ability to lead her team, which only had a couple of Black Ferns, around the field in the Aupiki competition.

"It's an opportunity for her to take control and do the things we want to do and Ruahei's on the bench too."

Learning in pressure situations rather than on the crest of a wave of success is important.

"If you want to win a World Cup, we're going to be put in that situation a lot, and usually, when you come up against a harder team, they're going to put you under pressure pretty quickly.

"So, pressure makes you do funny things.

"The only way you can learn to deal with it is by being in that situation and growing self-awareness around individual stuff. We're trying to work on a kicking game, and we probably haven't been in kick battles before because we don't get much of that back here.

"So learning how to play in that sort of situation isn't something you can plan. It's being able to see and execute so that has been good for us."

Simon said discipline had cost them against Canada.

"That game showed that you've got to be on the mark. You can't give away any soft penalties because that's how teams breach and play on top of you.

"We've spoken about it and it's making sure that in moving ahead we don't hold back but we don't flirt with the laws."

Bunce said the side was working on its mental preparation, especially coming off easier games and being prepared for other opponents to bring a different style of game than what they might have played earlier.

He said they had been working hard on their discipline before the Canada game but found some different interpretations being applied by northern hemisphere referees.

"Being able to adjust to that on the field is important.

"For us, it's us being technically sound around the breakdown and doing that, and making sure it's clean and easy for the ref to see that we are doing the right thing. But, we still want to be physical."


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