New Zealand looking for perfect game
The All Blacks may be unbeaten in six tests this year but they are still looking for the perfect performance New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw said in Dunedin on Friday.
New Zealand will play their first test at the new Forsyth Barr Stadium when they take on the Springboks in Dunedin on Saturday and McCaw is hoping that his team can rise to the challenge of playing what he calls his team’s biggest challenge of the year.
“We always aim for that (perfect performance), it’s the last time that we are playing in New Zealand for a while, although I think wherever you play you want to improve on before. But certainly, seeing that it’s the last time we play it would be nice to put a good one together before we head off,” McCaw told reporters.
“At times we have not been as accurate as we could be, but it won’t stop us from trying to play, one or two passes sometimes can make the difference. It is just a matter of getting the timing right to do that, and keep the guys creating those opportunities. I think the challenge we’re going to have tomorrow is going to be as big as we’ve faced for a long time and it’s going to put more pressure on us. If we make the decisions right and implement the skills to follow, hopefully we can get it right,” he added.
New Zealand have come in for some criticism for the way they battled to put Argentina away 21-5 in Wellington last weekend but McCaw said that the team had made things hard on themselves.
“It still comes down to individuals making the right decisions and us being able to build pressure instead of putting it on ourselves. We were a bit guilty of that in the first half last week, to some extent, we’ve got to get that right. We have talked about it, so hopefully we will see it tomorrow,” he said.
However, McCaw did play down expectations that his team had a responsibility to entertain as well as win test matches.
“Test rugby, first and foremost is about trying to win. I suppose how we do that is through our performance and if it is good to watch or it isn’t is secondary for us.
“We realise that we want to use our skills and strengths but putting that all aside we want to improve as a team every week. We have done that in stages but we haven’t put it together. At the end of the day we play test footy to win.”
The Springboks have come in for some criticism of their own for their apparent kicking-orientated game but McCaw said that the South Africans could be just as dangerous with the ball in hand if they were given the opportunity.
“People mentioned the kicking, but I watched them a bit and yeah, they kicked it a bit, but they chased it very well too. If you give them ball at the right end of the field and make mistakes under pressure, they will make you pay. You can’t go and just expect that (kicking game). When they get their structure right and stuff, they can be a difficult team and that has always been the case, I suppose,” he explained.