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Smith fuelled by Twickenham pain

New Zealand scrum-half Aaron Smith will use the agony of his only defeat in an All Blacks jersey to fuel his performance in Saturday's first Test against England.

The world champions were thrashed 38-21 at Twickenham in December 2012 and although that loss was avenged at the same venue a year later, it continues to haunt Smith.

"England showed a lot of fire in that game. I still have clear memories of that day. It's quite painful still," said Smith, who has won 26 caps.

"It's still there to fuel to me - the way it happened. They blew us away in the end.

"I learnt from that game that it's not about trying to win the game early.

"It's a general big-time Test match where you try and win as many moments as you can.

"It was a lot better in the second game and we showed them a lot more respect.

"Everyone thought 'oh God no' when England went ahead but we had to trust our plan and we got the win which was really good."

Having made two appearances at Twickenham, where New Zealand suffered their only defeat since lifting the 2011 World Cup, Smith is relishing the chance to face England on home soil.

"England are really a dangerous animal and still have the brute size that their sides always do," he said.

"They play with a lot of width and like playing footie. It's refreshing to see because it's an exciting brand of rugby.

"We're playing in our home ground for once. I've played them twice and it's not too much fun at Twickenham.

"That's their place, they like to play there and it will be nice to play them in a place I like to play as well.

"Eden Park's a good ground and there should be fireworks in a sense and hopefully we're making the bigger bangs."


From Belfast Telegraph