New Zealand captain Kieran Read has bitter experience of Australia snapping long All Blacks winning streaks and thinks the world champions have learned their lesson ahead of Saturday’s clash in Auckland.
The Wallabies ended New Zealand’s 15-match winning streak with a victory in Hong Kong in 2010, a 16-match streak with a draw in Brisbane in 2012 and a record-equalling 17-match run with another tie in Sydney two years ago.
Read started all three games and on Saturday will lead out the All Blacks at Eden Park when they make a second bid to secure the top tier record with an 18th straight test victory.
The difference this time, he said, was that they had acknowledged what was at stake on Saturday, rather than brushing it aside as a distraction.
“We have learned that it isn’t just another game I guess,” Read told reporters at the Captain’s Run in Auckland on Friday.
“When you have got something on the line, oppositions raise their games and we have certainly got to raise ours. That’s probably the biggest lesson that there is a bit of an extra.
“And it is a bit of an extra for both teams. It is not just our record, it is the Australian’s record to try to stop us from making it.
“It is going to be put a bit of extra spice on but we are pretty glad we are here at Eden Park and are looking forward to having a home crowd.”
The All Blacks have been unbeatable at home in recent years, winning their last 35 tests at Eden Park and last 44 on home soil, including their run to their first World Cup triumph in 2011.
Australia have not beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park in 16 attempts going back 30 years but Read was keen to reiterate that the record attempt would also add extra motivation for the Wallabies too.
“The Australians clearly know what is at stake as well and I am sure they will be coming here with much attitude to try to knock us off,” he said.
“It has got to be our preparation, our work, that is going to win us this game on Saturday night. It is not going to be us just thinking it is going to happen.
“The work has been done and I am sure we are going to be all fired up come tomorrow night and get into it. It is going to be massive as it has never been done in the history of tier one nations.
“Boys are excited, we’re up for this challenge.”