All Blacks' job only half done: Hansen

Sat, 18/08/2018, 02:20 pm
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman

The All Blacks have blitzed the Wallabies in Sydney again and all they need for a 16th-straight Bledisloe Cup is a victory at their most intimidating home ground next week.

It’s a position anyone would envy but the Kiwis are adamant their job is far from done.

They were in a similar situation this time a year ago and the Wallabies went just 30 seconds short from causing one of the biggest upsets in recent history in Dunedin.

Auckland’s Eden Park is a different prospect - the All Blacks haven’t lost to the Wallabies there since 1986 - but the rest of the situation is eerily similar.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was quick to predict improvement from the Wallabies , and ward off complacency from his own charges after Saturday’s series opener.

“You've got to expect they'll get better, like a number of our players who got knocked out early in Super Rugby they haven't had a lot of footy,” he said.

“So the game will benefit them, they'll look to continue that first 20 minutes where they probably dominated the game a little bit.

“They'll want to build bigger and longer momentum patches they'll tidy their line out for sure and they're a hungry side so what we've got to do is the key thing and it's all very fine winning one but you don't win the Bledisloe Cup just winning one.

“You've got to go out and earn the right to put both hands on it and our preparation this week has to be spot on and it has to be really genuine.”

As much as Dunedin is a cautionary tale for the All Blacks, it is a cause of optimism for the Wallabies.

Coach Michael Cheika said he had every confidence his side could turn things around in just a week.

“I believe in my lads a lot, I really do,” he said.

“We don’t need to lose to then have to go and try to win.

“That's what we need, is to learn to be better at is just to keep doing what we know we can do and keep delivering it and let the score look after itself.

“Wherever side of the coin that ends up, you'll be right once you do everything you need to do the way you want to do it individually in your role and then with the objectives of the team in mind as well.”

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said the focus had already turned to trying to end their Eden Park drought.

“We’ve got a plan, spoke about the plan already and we’ll build on that during the week,” he said.

The Wallabies and All Blacks travel to Auckland on Sunday ahead of next Saturday's second Bledisloe Test.

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