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NZ won't individualise opponents

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Sportal.co.nz     13 Oct 2011     Getty Images

Flanker Jerome Kaino, who missed the final Bledisloe Cup Test while on paternal leave, said the nature of a trans-Tasman match was 'hugely motivating' with the prize of a place in the final an extra factor.

"They are our No.1 foe and we are looking forward to playing them," he said.

As a loose forward he was well aware of the significance of the breakdown, an area Wallabies flanker David Pocock had found such value in during the quarter-final win over South Africa.

"That game showed how crucial the breakdown area is," he said. "We are looking to shore that area up."

Kaino, who has played every minute of the campaign, said his body was holding up well although he was a little sore after a physical clash against Argentina in the quarter-finals.

Kaino went down twice in that game, the first after his ankle got caught under a ruck and the second when he was winded.

Winning the physical battle against the Wallabies would also go a long way towards securing victory on Sunday, Kaino added.

Halfback Andrew Ellis said the leadership vacuum that had been created through the loss of Dan Carter and Mils Muliaina in the backline had been spread among the other members of the team.

"Every game in the knockout stage is big and it is a massive game for us. The message we got from the 1987 team on Tuesday was the semi-final was their big game and the final would look after itself after that," he said.

"We know how physically teams like to come out but that is not the only motivating factor in the game."

Ellis said the sides remaining in the World Cup all played running rugby and the refereeing had reflected