Sydney - All Blacks captain Kieran Read said his side would not
underestimate the Wallabies when the sides meet in their Bledisloe Cup clash in
Sydney on Saturday.
Read promised that the Wallabies would have the full respect
of the All Blacks, something the Australians felt was lacking last year.
"They've got something that we know if they put it
together they're a dangerous side," he told the All Blacks' official
"Our respect to them is we turn up and play as well as
we can because we know what they can bring. So I think that shows on the field.
"Our biggest respect to opposition is that we go out
there and bring the best game that we can. That shows that we respect them and
we're going to go out there and do that again next week."
With all that was going on in Australian rugby at the
moment, the fact was that the Wallabies coach (Michael Cheika) was dominant in
his mindset and wanted his side to go out to win games by beating up other
teams and after a month preparing his players he would have been working on
aspects he believed could challenge the All Blacks.
Read was under no illusions of the Australian threat. He had
played a number of Australian sides who had come out and played a game that in
no way reflected how their sides had played in Super Rugby.
"This year will be no different, they've got quality
players and a pretty strong mindset to try and win that Bledisloe," he
"That's what makes it pretty strong from our point of
view and that's what we need to go out there and win."
Read said that after all the post-Super Rugby celebrations
were completed for the Crusaders members of the side getting back into the All
Blacks environment had a rejuvenating quality.
"We had a good hit-out on Friday, it was probably just
what we needed as a group and it really sets us up for this week," he
He doesn’t think the toll of the British and Irish Lions
series and then the play-offs with franchises had diminished the form and
fitness of the players.
Playing the game was what players enjoyed most and while
there had been something of a week off last week, they were now building up for
the Sydney challenge.
"For us it doesn't get any bigger than that," he
"The Bledisloe Cup, for us, is one of those trophies
that we really cherish outside the World Cup and in Sydney it is always tough.
It's never really been easy so we are looking forward to a big challenge,"
The Lions series had been well reviewed and lessons had been
put to use by the All Blacks during their camp last week.
"We have to do that, it's part of our learning and
there was massive learning for us as a group from what we took out of that
series around how we need to play this game, how we need to react to
pressure," said Read.
"Hopefully we'll show in this Championship, especially
in these Bledisloe Cup games, what we've learnt."