Sam Cane satisfied with return as skipper

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"I loved it. It tested frustration a wee bit from a captaincy point of view, but from a personal point of view, and getting back and playing footy, and having the opportunity to pull on the All Black jersey, and then to have to dig a wee bit deep to go the full 80, was an awesome feeling.

 

"One of the things I love about rugby is being able to sit in the sheds and know that you emptied the tank and gave it all. That's the feeling for today, and a lot of hard work for the last six or so months so pretty satisfied," he said.

 

As Italy poured on defensive pressure from the outset Cane said under those circumstances it was sometimes easy to switch attention from what needed to be done to what the scoreboard was doing and worrying about external things.

 

"It's important to focus in on what we can control. It's very much the process of what's next, what's the next task?

 

"It can be frustrating when you focus on the next task and we don't get it right, so we have to reset and go again. But that's having the ability not to get frustrated, stay in it and trust that we will get it right. And when we do, we can punish them," he said.

 

 

There were testing times in the game when they couldn't get it going the way they wanted but he reiterated coach Ian Foster's comments that it was a good learning experience, for a lot of the young players given their chance.

 

"It probably highlighted the lack of experience when we set up for the haka and a lot of guys wanted to be in the back row.

 

"It was awesome to get back out there and I was proud of the way we didn't allow frustrations to creep in and affect our game too much," he said.

 

Their halftime discussion was solution-focused, looking at what was going well and how to rectify those things that were not going well.

 

They also wanted to show more intent at the breakdown because they weren't getting many favours in that area which was challenging.

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