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Gang of five feel refreshed after week off

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Lynn McConnell     03 Oct 2017     Getty Images

Cane said it had been relaxing having time off and being able to attend to running and gym work without having to balance that with peaking on Saturday in a game. The group of Cane, Sam Whitelock, Liam Squire, Ryan Crotty and Lima Sopoaga had arrived in Cape Town on Friday and were well set for the week ahead.

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Cane said he didn't think the scoreboard was a fair reflection of where the Springboks were placed. They had lost a lot of iconic players in the last few years and after the Albany Test the Springbok forwards he had talked to in the changing rooms felt they were on the right track with their game.

"They've established a new leadership group, a lot of new guys in the squad, and a lot of youth so they feel like they're building to something bigger in the coming years and the scoreboard of the last three games is not a fair reflection of the feeling within that squad," he said.

Cane repeated his pre-Albany Test comments about the awareness of the history between the sides but added they were also aware of the small margins in the game where you only needed a couple of things to go your way, or you take opportunities early and put the opponent on the back foot and in a position where it was hard to come back.

"We know we have to be right on our game to get the result we want and if we're not it could be a real arm wrestle," he said.

It was Cane's fifth time in Cape Town in the last two years and it was one of the destinations in South Africa the All Blacks looked forward to when they saw it pop up on the schedule.

Being back at sea level and with the traditional support they received in Cape Town was also a bonus, he said.