Pressure of Bledisloe decider 'built for All Blacks': Read

International
by Emma Greenwood

Kieran Read has outlined New Zealand's mindset ahead of Saturday's do or die Bledisloe contest, saying the game is a moment "built for us as All Blacks".

Read said the disquiet in camp was what was needed after a loss like the one inflicted by the Wallabies in Perth last week and his team's response would be critical.

The Kiwis conceded more points than ever before in a Test in the Perth loss and the scene is set for a showdown at Eden Park, a fortress for the All Blacks for the past 33 years against Australia.

"When you put in a performance like that you want and rectify it," Read said.

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read lays down the law to his team in Perth. Photo: Getty Images

"We’ve got the chance this week, that’s the best thing about it. We’ve had a good week but it’s about putting it on the field.

"These moments are built for us as All Blacks and the way you’re going to respond is crucial."

Read admitted he had been as "prickly" as anyone after the loss to the Wallabies and a draw with the Springboks throughout The Rugby Championship.

"This is a mental game as much as a physical game, so it's our response mentally and building up to the game in your head (that's important). You can’t do it all on the paddock," he said.

Kieran Read trains with the All Blacks at Eden Park. Photo: Getty Images

"This group is hurting, that's how it should be in an All Black jersey and we've got the chance tomorrow night to go out and rectify that and we're excited by that."

Saturday's clash will be Read's final match in a black jersey at Eden Park but he said that had not entered his mind, with a win the only thing that mattered.

He conceded there was pressure in the winner-take-all scenario but said it was little different from other instances throughout his career.

"I recall a similar situation four years ago (after the Australians won the first leg in 2015 heading into Eden Park before losing the series), so look it’s a one-off game and we’ve been in these occasions before against the Australians, in a one-off game and you need a win," he said.

 

"That’s the reality of it and I’m looking forward to that challenge. The guys know the expectation of it but not too much different to other weeks and other times when we have been in this situation. "

But the fact that the famous trophy was on the line on Saturday night did accentuate the occasion.

"Yeah, it does and I’m sure it means to the Australians as well," he said.

"We can’t expect to turn up and expect it to happen for us - there are lots of things that go into that.

"But we're excited. It’s awesome to be at Eden Park, it’s a place we really enjoy playing. The nature of the game is huge and we’ve been here before in similar instances and we have to make sure we get it right tomorrow."

It's not the situation the All Blacks would have expected to be in a month out from the World Cup but Read was not willing to speculate on the future.

"There are going to be things you look back on and say that maybe they helped you, maybe they didn’t," Read said.

"You can’t predict the future. We focus on this week really. We’ve got 24 hours before we hit the track tomorrow night and that’s all we can control at the moment."

The All Blacks take on the Wallabies at Eden Park, Auckland, on Saturday, August 17, at 5:35pm AEST (7:35pm local) and broadcast LIVE on Network Ten, Foxtel and Kayo and via RUGBY.com.au radio.