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Kahui: Donald can handle it

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Sportal.co.nz     12 Oct 2011     Getty Images

Kahui said while Donald hadn't been the darling of the airwaves it was something he had handled well.

"He's a confident guy, he knows his abilities and coming into the team at this time in the competition he's played a lot of big games for the All Blacks on a lot of big stages, and there's not going to be too many more bigger stages than this so to come in now I think he's got the right temperament and the right skill set if he's called upon to do the job," Kahui said.

Hooker Andrew Hore had confidence that Aaron Cruden, who was now the first choice at first five-eighths, would be able to handle the task. He had good support around him and if the other 14 players did their job then Cruden would have an easier ride.

No.8 Kieran Read, who has been on the comeback trail after injury suffered in the final Tri Nations Test said you had to go out on the field with injuries, and the prospect of them, out of the mind.

"If you go out on the field thinking about it or wondering what might happen then inevitably it probably will. You've just got to get that out of your mind. For me it's just about playing footie," he said.

Read was asked if New Zealand could counter the Australian approach at the breakdown and his response was that it was an area wanted to dominate in.

"It is an area we think we can, [dominate] especially in that breakdown where we back ourselves. It's a good challenge because, obviously, David [Pocock] played really well last week and he's probably one of the form No.7s in the competition so it's a good challenge for us because we always back ourselves when we run out with the black jersey on," he said.

Hore said in the tighter core the Australians had come a long way with their scrum and had done well against a good South Africa forward pack. But any talk about scrums would wait until later in the week as the players got over the weekend's aches and pains.

The All Blacks had been stung by their Tri Nations loss to Australia in Brisbane but Hore said the good thing about professional sport was that you didn't have to wait too long for the chance to right the wrongs.

"If we can do that on Sunday night it will be a pretty good time," he said.

New Zealand would be looking to start well in the game, something it achieved in the first outing between the two sides but which it had been beaten at in the second game.

Intensity was one thing, Read said, but accuracy was also another.