Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

McCaw: We've worked hard

Richie McCaw

Skipper Richie McCaw revealed it was the disappointment of last year's Tri-Nations campaign that provided the catalyst for New Zealand's dominant 2010 triumph.

A dramatic 29-22 victory over South Africa in Johannesburg saw the All Blacks clinch the title with a game to spare. It is a stark contrast to last year's campaign, where three defeats to the Springboks saw them relinquish the crown to their southern hemisphere rivals.

"We took a good look at ourselves after the (2009) Tri-Nations," said McCaw. "We haven't changed a whole lot, just the way we implement things. It's hard work that's got us to where most of the guys are playing pretty good rugby."

He added: "There's not too much between the three teams at the moment in the Tri-Nations, but we've been able to get some confidence with how we're playing.

"What I was pleased about, especially the two Tests we played against the Springboks in New Zealand, was that every opportunity we got, we took, whereas last year we created opportunities but didn't take them.

"We put ourselves under pressure and allowed the Springboks to get ahead, and when you do that you play catch-up rugby. In the first four Tests this year, we got ahead and could dictate.

"We're making the most of opportunities and making good decisions. Guys are a year further on, we realised we didn't quite get it right last year, a bit of confidence builds and you back yourselves. I think that's probably the main difference."

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