Ruthless All Blacks promising no let-up

The All Blacks are promising no let-up as they look to secure the Bledisloe Cup for a 15th straight year with a 21st consecutive win over the Wallabies in New Zealand.

Certain to be stirred by the death of Kiwi rugby icon Colin Meads and dirty at conceding the last 28 points in a series-opening 54-34 demolition job in Sydney, the All Blacks are seeking perfection in Saturday’s game two in Dunedin.

While delighted with his side’s sublime first 50 minutes – when the world champions piled on eight tries – coach Steve Hansen is demanding no repeat of the final half hour when the Wallabies replied with four unanswered strikes.

The late collapse comes after the British and Irish Lions rallied to level their recent series in New Zealand and marked the first time since 1996 that the All Blacks had lost the second half in three successive Tests.

“We’re all frustrated because we’ve come to expect a lot from these men and some of what we got in the last 30 minutes wasn’t where we want it to be,” Hansen said.

“So everyone in the box was frustrated. I’d say everyone on the park was frustrated. We just didn’t arrest the error rate and they just kept coming at us.

“So that’s another learning for a group that’s re-establishing itself and it will give us something to really focus in on when we go to Dunedin, and it won’t do us any harm.

“If we’d have gone on and won the game playing the way we were in the first half, I don’t think that would have done us any good either.”

Despite Australia’s late fightback, the All Blacks managed to rack up their highest score against the Wallabies in a defiant display after a build-up laced with sex scandals and controversy around the hotel bugging court case.

Hansen hailed halfback Aaron Smith’s performance in the face of fresh allegations that he may have misled New Zealand Rugby about his “toilet tryst” last year, while the coach is unlikely to rush Jerome Kaino back after the flanker was sent home on Saturday to deal with claims of infidelity.

“We all know what the problem is. He’s got stuff he needs to deal with so, once he’s dealt with that, we’ll make some decisions,” Hansen said of Kaino.

“I’ve got no show of telling what his head space is … it’s a personal thing that he and his family have to deal with.”

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