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ABs focus on cup

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AUCKLAND - With one streak over, the All Blacks will turn their attention to extending another in the second Bledisloe Cup rugby clash against Australia in Auckland.

The 12-12 draw in Sydney last weekend dashed New Zealand's hopes of a record 18th Test victory in a row.

But, as holders, it also meant they have to win only one of the two remaining trans-Tasman encounters of the season to secure the cup for the 12th year in a row.

No.8 Kieran Read says there's no time to dwell on what might have been at ANZ Stadium.

"It's a new week," he said.

"There was disappointment there definitely, but we've got to shift that focus pretty quickly.

"It's a great opportunity this week to do well and do the business and lock away the Bledisloe."

While the draw left both sides with a hollow feeling, the All Blacks showed plenty of grit in achieving parity at the finish.

They were behind in both share of possession and penalty count, and two yellow cards meant they were a man short for a quarter of the match.

Read said players being honest about their performances would be key to the team improving at Eden Park on Saturday night.

"It's nothing too different to normal," the 63-Test veteran said.

"It's about us getting our game right for this week."

Despite the sin-binnings and the penalties whistled against them, Read didn't believe discipline was a major concern for the All Blacks.

"It's certainly something we have to improve on," he said.

"We can't be giving away the amount of penalties we did give away last week, but I don't think it's really an issue.

"It's about us being disciplined enough to back ourselves and our systems."

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