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Bledisloe Cup Test starts with a clean slate

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Lynn McConnell     18 Aug 2018     Getty Images

Asked whether the dominance of Investec Super Rugby by New Zealand teams would be a factor in the Test, Read said had been in All Blacks teams in the past when Super Rugby form had been impressive but that hadn't been reflected in some Test outcomes.

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"It's the best of the best of all the teams and for us it's going to be a hell of a game," he said.

The Wallabies had shown some familiar patterns of how they were going to attack during their June series with Ireland but he almost noticed the emphasis they put on working hard as a forward pack.

That would require the All Blacks to be wary of that while acknowledging the abilities of the likes of outstanding players like Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau to cause them problems.

The Test is Read's first since last November's northern tour and he said that while there had been some doubts that floated around while suffering his back injury he had enjoyed the build-up to the Test and it was great being back with the side.

Once he got into the process of recovery he had responded well and went into the Test match feeling in good place.

"I always had confidence I would be back, probably early on I didn't think it would be this quick, so I'm really happy to be here, play the backend of Super [Rugby] and to play a Test match right now is awesome so I'm really happy," he said.
The nature of the Test had already been talked about and the All Blacks respected what the Wallabies were building towards and with that in mind he was sure it was going to be 'a hell of a game'.

"We know they're building a team that's hungry and certainly there is slightly different preparation to what they've done in the past. For us we look at what they're going to bring and things like that, rightly, but probably more important is how we turn up.

"We know if we turn up with a performance that we're proud of, and respect the opposition in how we prepare, we should be all right come Saturday," he said.

In his own area of expertise Read said the New Zealand loose forwards were well aware of what they would be up against from Australia's David Pocock and Michael Hooper.

"We know they are world-class players and we will have to be right on our game to nullify what their strength is. It's going to be awesome," he said.
With lock and Crusaders teammate Sam Whitelock joining the 100 Test caps club, Read said it was great for him as he had probably been unsung for a long time.

"To get to 100 games is a phenomenal achievement and he certainly deserves every one of those games and he doesn't disappoint every time he runs out so I'm really looking forward to the boys putting on a great performance for him," he said.

Experience returning to the side with himself and lock Brodie Retallick back after long periods out of the game was useful in terms of knowing what was required in certain situations but the last thing the All Blacks could do was sit back and expect things to happen. They still had to do the hard work.

"We've got to work hard from the outset, that's across the board. We've got to go out and find our rhythm as quickly as we can," he said.