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Captain McCaw better than 2007

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Sportal.co.nz     24 Aug 2011     Getty Images

McCaw was at the helm when the New Zealanders, after such high expectations, exited at the quarter-finals stage in 2007.

"You know what you're in for, you know what to expect and I think a lot of us who were there, four years on have played a lot more rugby and been through a lot more experiences. That doesn't guarantee anything but hopefully when it comes down to things we need to get right at training so that we can perform on [the] Saturday," he said.

In games where the side was expected to win, it was a case of still going in and performing well and getting what was needed out of the games.

"Then obviously, for the games that are going to be the tough ones you know what is required to get the result and get the performance you are after. And I think, it's hard to put into words, but having been through that but hopefully the coaches and the guys that have been there before can get it right for the week prior and then out on the field."

The pressure to win is a constant with the All Blacks from the New Zealand public and the fact they would be competing in a World Cup at home would make no difference.

"It is exciting. And if you were going to choose, out of all the places to play in a World Cup you'd probably choose your home country wouldn't you? That's the way I look at it.

"Every other team is going to be pretty excited about it as well and that's what's great about it. It's not an easy thing to win so you've just got to do it right, but to have your friends and family and fans to get a feel of it too is pretty special," he said.

McCaw said while it was unfortunate there were casualties in the selection it was a good position to be in to have a choice of players rather than having to find players to fill positions.

McCaw was quick to keep his mind on the immediate task of winning Saturday's Test against Australia in order to secure the Investec Tri Nations title.

"There's a few of us who haven't played last week and we have to sort out what went wrong last week and get stuck in because the Tri Nations is on the line. We've got to get that right."

And taking confidence into the World Cup would come from success on Saturday.

McCaw felt the side did a lot of good things in the loss to South Africa but he felt there was a lack of patience when opportunities were presented.

"Because of that we didn't impose ourselves. Had we converted a couple of those opportunities it would be a different game but we didn't and they accumulated points and once we got behind they [South Africa] didn't have to play a whole lot. They just played a pressure game.

"So I suppose that is the disappointing part – we had our chances," he said.

There were lessons from the game and it was a case of the players coming back ensuring they slotted in correctly and be up for a big Test.