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Kaino hates that losing feeling

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

AUCKLAND - Unlike some of his All Blacks teammates, Jerome Kaino knows what it's like to lose to Australia.

It's a feeling he's determined not to replicate.

The bruising loose forward hasn't faced the Wallabies since the 2011 World Cup after spending two seasons in Japan.

But he has returned with strong performances in Super Rugby and against England for the All Blacks in June, and is favoured by many to win back his spot over last year's incumbent Liam Messam.

Kaino wasn't on the field when the Wallabies last beat the All Blacks, in the 2011 Tri Nations, but he did play in the last-minute 26-24 loss in Hong Kong in 2010 and says he doesn't enjoy losing Bledisloe Cup Tests.

"Those are the ones that you hate to lose. I think that's why a lot of the boys really prepare well and step up for those games," he said.

"I'm not saying they're more important than any other Test but you don't want to be in that changing room after an Aussie Test being on the losing side."

The Bledisloe Cup hasn't been in Australian hands since 2002 and Kaino says it means plenty to him.

"It's a huge one for me. Outside of the World Cup, it's one of the trophies that I love playing for and love to keep," he said.

"Our build up and everything is built on what it's like to lose against them and we really focus hard on that."

New Zealand expects a tough Wallabies team in Saturday's clash, buoyed by the confidence of the Super Rugby-winning Waratahs, and Kaino says they need to stay focused.

"We hear the noises coming from over there. Obviously they're still on a high after the Waratahs win.

"We know what we need to do to prepare well and we try not to get too caught up in the hype of everything, but we know a Bledisloe Test is a Bledisloe Test and we need to prepare well."