Memory of Irish a lesson for All Blacks

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2012
Keven Mealamu
John Selkirk/Fairfax NZ
KEVEN MEALAMU: "We have got some really good hookers coming through and they're coming from most of the franchises."

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If the All Blacks need a reminder about being over-confident going into a second test of a series, they need only think back a couple of months to their great escape against Ireland in Christchurch.

Having convincingly beaten Ireland 41-10 in the first test of the June series, they were expected to steamroller them again in the second.

However, complacency, bad attitude and ordinary execution led to Steve Hansen's side getting the fright of their lives, needing a last-gasp drop goal from Dan Carter to sneak a 19-16 win.

Like Ireland, few would be predicting a win for Australia in their second test in as many weeks against the All Blacks, especially at Eden Park, where the Wallabies haven't won since 1986.

But hooker Keven Mealamu says there's no excuse for the team to suffer from second-test syndrome again.

“That was a big learning point for us,” Mealamu said of the Christchurch experience.

“It doesn't matter who you're playing against, you've got to make sure you prepare well.

“If you don't do that, then that's the difference, I reckon.

“We've learnt a lot from that second test and, hopefully, we can make sure we put in back to back [performances].

“It comes down to playing two big matches in a row and making sure we definitely front up.

“We'll make sure we put our preparation and performance in and we've got to take control of that.”

While the All Blacks won in Sydney last weekend, the team are hardly jumping for joy about how they played.

It could be argued that was a test the Wallabies lost as much as the All Blacks won.

Both sides had scrappy performances, it's just that Australia made more individual errors than New Zealand did.

“Both teams left a few points out there with handling errors,” Mealamu said.

“We probably let ourselves down a bit with all of the dropped balls.”

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- Wellington

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