The All Blacks are preparing for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup before shifting their focus to the Rugby World Cup in Japan. They are in Perth for their match against Australia, that also forms part of the Rugby Championship.
Even though the All Blacks have enjoyed more success in the Two-Nations event than their opponents, they remain hungry for more.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a big step up. Bledisloe Cup means a lot to both teams. So, I think with our review we saw quite a few opportunities in our game that we can be better at and as players, it’s exciting. I suppose that’s where we take our game to another level,” says All Blacks fullback, Ben Smith.
Smith says past results will count for nothing on the day when the two sides take to the field.
“Both teams, the past doesn’t matter! It’s just about who turns up on Saturday and plays the best footy will give themselves the best chance to give us Bledisloe. So, I don’t think there will be too much thought into what’s gone on before. It’ll be about for us, nailing this week and this game,” adds Smith.
All Blacks forward Dane Cole says all they can do is to focus on this match without being too worried about World Cup momentum and selection. The 2019 Rugby World Cup starts on the 20th of September in Japan.
“At this time it’s all about Bledisloe one, you’re not worried about World Cup and at the moment, we – especially for guys like us – we need to make sure we concentrate on this week because this trophy is very important to both countries and we want to make sure that we do everything we can to perform and not worry about World Cup and we’ll just keep improving week by week and then see how we go,” says Dan Coles who is the All blacks hooker.
The first match of the Bledisloe Cup will be played at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Saturday, with the return leg at Eden Park in Auckland on the 17th of this month.