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How the All Blacks are guarding against Wallabies complacency

By Alex McLeod

Trending on RugbyPass

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Newly-minted All Blacks captain Ardie Savea has lifted the lid on how his side are guarding against complacency ahead of their third and final Bledisloe Cup clash against the Wallabies.

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The All Blacks head into their last test of the year against the Wallabies at Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday with the Bledisloe Cup safely stowed away for a 19th consecutive year following back-to-back victories at Eden Park last month.

However, any concerns that the All Blacks will take their Australian opponents lightly with their second-most prized piece of silverware no longer on the line have been quashed by Savea.

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Beauden Barrett focused on taking advantage of All Blacks opportunity in Richie Mo’unga’s absence

Speaking to media a day out from his debut as All Blacks captain, Savea said the onus has been put on his side to clean sweep the Wallabies for just the fourth time in the past decade as they aim to resume their Rugby Championship campaign with a victory.

“Even though the Bled is locked up, we consider this another Rugby Championship match for us to go out there and perform well,” he told media on Saturday.

“I know my mindset is every time I put on the black jersey, it’s an important test. That’s our mindset, and I think a lot of the boys are like that as well.

“We don’t take it for granted and, even though the Bled is locked up, each time we go out there, we put on the jersey, we want to perform for that.

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“It’s a different week. These are unique times. It’s challenging, but it’s also quite unique to stay mentally prepared.”

Savea added that, in his fresh role as captain in the absence of Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith, he has taken it upon himself to ensure his team share that same mindset this weekend.

“You don’t need many words to show that you’re mentally switched on,” he said.

“I think being able to switch from being in the hotel to when you’re on the training field, that speaks volumes when you’re just doing it with actions, so I know a lot of it has been like that this week.

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“Just trusting the lads with their own preparations to be able to turn up tomorrow and perform.”

The added weight of expectation to deliver a vastly-improved performance from the one they dished up the last time they played in Perth two years ago, which resulted in a record-breaking defeat at the hands of the Wallabies, isn’t lost on Savea either.

“There was a feeling after that test – I was involved in that test – and it was a feeling that it wasn’t very nice, so it was briefly touched on this week and we don’t want that same feeling tomorrow.

“So, we’re kind of just bottling that up, and kind of just letting it sit until tomorrow.”

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How the All Blacks are guarding against Wallabies complacency

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