Dunedin - All Blacks captain Kieran Read
believes his side are primed to complete a 3-0 whitewash in the final Test
against a battered Wales unit still clinging to the hope of an upset win.
The much-changed All Blacks want to put
"an exclamation mark on the series", Read said, describing the
feeling in the world champions' camp.
With the series already wrapped up with
convincing wins in the first two Tests, New Zealand have made 12 changes to the
match-day 23 with an eye to grooming combinations ahead of the Rugby
Championship which starts in August.
But despite the green tinge to a squad that
includes three uncapped players and another four with only 11 Tests between
them, Read expected an improved performance in what promises to be a fast-paced
game in an enclosed Dunedin stadium.
The All Blacks clinched the first Test with
a withering three-try burst at the end, and took control of the second Test
with a four-try blitz early in the second half.
Around the scoring sprees, Wales were
competitive, particularly at the breakdown, and Read said the All Blacks want
to end the series by having more control early.
"The boys, as a team, want to go out
there and really deliver a great performance to put an exclamation mark on the
series," he said at the end of their final training run on Friday.
Wales "will back themselves as well.
They've certainly done that, so we've got to try and get on top of them a bit
quicker than what we have done in the last couple of games."
The All Blacks scored 10 tries over the
first two Tests, double Wales's total, and Read wanted another
"performance that can really be physically demanding on the Welsh".
For Wales, it is the last chapter in an
arduous year that has seen them play 17 Tests from the time they started their
build-up to the World Cup last year.
In addition to losing in Auckland and
Wellington, they have also had six players return home because of injury.
But as much as the tourists were looking
forward to getting on the plane out of New Zealand on Sunday, assistant coach
Neil Jenkins said they still harboured thoughts of beating the All Blacks for
the first time since 1953.
"If we keep improving, keep evolving
and if we keep doing what we're doing, I have no doubts we can be
thereabouts," he said.
"It's been a long hard year for them
but, again, they've learned a hell of a lot about themselves.
"When you play the best side in the
world on their own patch, and play the way that we have played and tried to
play, we're only going to grow and learn.
"I'm sure the guys, once the final
whistle goes, they'll have a couple of beers and enjoy the rest. The boys will
enjoy their holidays after it."