All Blacks expect Wales to mount challenge

The All Blacks believe notching 40 straight home wins by beating Wales in the second Test won’t be as straightforward as many are predicting.

History on many fronts suggests New Zealand will extend their 63-year winning trot against the tourists on Saturday and build further on the world record streak on home soil.

Not since South Africa’s narrow triumph in Hamilton in 2009 have the All Blacks been toppled in front of their own fans.

They also boast 13 straight wins in Wellington, although Wales have never played against New Zealand in the capital.

Despite their sizeable favouritism, captain Kieran Read insists his world champion team are far from complacent.

Read was uncomfortable with chunks of their performance in the first Test, won 39-21 in Auckland.

Secondly, Wales played the sort of fearless, ball-in-hand rugby which Read admits has the potential to threaten his side.

“They’ve shown their hand and they were reasonably successful at it,” he said.

“We’ll be prepared for that and know that we can get a lot better as well. We need to bring a bit more intensity and physicality in our approach.

An open game would suit both recalled fullbacks.

Israel Dagg has plenty to prove in his 50th Test – his first for 11 months – while Wales are fielding unheralded Cardiff Blues half Rhys Patchell.

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins is confident Patchell won’t be overawed by the occasion, even though his only two caps were earned off the bench against Japan three years ago.

“Patch is a confident young kid,” Jenkins said.

“The most important thing we can tell him is go out and enjoy yourself.

“You’re playing against the best side in the world. There’s no better place to test your skills.”

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