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Slow start costs silverware

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Sportal.co.nz     28 Aug 2011     Getty Images

McCaw said in the first 20 minutes of the match, in direct contrast to the Auckland Test between the two sides last month, New Zealand had struggled to get their game going.

They had regained their momentum in the second half to level the score at 20-20 after Australia had been up 20-3 at the break.

"It's going to be a good wee lesson. The two games we have had against the Wallabies show that there is very little between all these teams and it is how you turn up, the mental state you turn up in, and how you apply yourself.

"That's the difference, we saw that in the first half, especially, we were beaten to it," McCaw said.

While there had been an adjustment at half-time, McCaw said it was difficult to change earlier because ball was being turned over, tackles were being missed or kicks were being charged down.

"We would like to have turned around after two minutes when we realised we were on the receiving end but it didn't happen like that," he said.

McCaw added that they had been talking about the corrective measures on the field during the half but sometimes it was the break and a deep breath at half-time that allowed you to reassess, and correct, the situation.

"You've got to make sure you are on the job right from the word go. If you think you are going to carry on from where you left off last time without having applied yourself to the mental side of things that you've got to go back to the start and do all the little things then you'll come unstuck and we saw that," he said.

McCaw said it had been disappointing that someone like rollicking Wallabies No.8 Radike Samo was able to feature in two long runs, one of them producing a sensational try, could shrug off tackles.

"Australia obviously created the opportunities but if you look at what we had we didn't look after him very well at all and they got momentum," he said.