Aaron Cruden left with 'weird' feeling after draw

Last updated 05:00 18/08/2014

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Top 10 Rugby World Cup series: Upsets All Blacks make dreams come true on visit to Nelson's Stoke School Unlucky dozen symbolic of All Blacks collective strength under Steve Hansen All Blacks charm fans across New Zealand All Blacks show skill and patience with Wairarapa fans Israel Dagg says he's not done as an All Black yet, vows to bounce back Flag change 'the last thing' Richie McCaw wants to discuss Auckland regain Charles Piutau and Charlie Faumuina for NPC clash with Waikato Coach Steve Hansen lays down challenge as All Blacks wind up first pre-World Cup camp Researcher identifies the game-losing effect of mental stress

The score said draw, but for Aaron Cruden and his All Black team-mates it felt very much like a loss as their 17-test winning streak was once again stymied by the willing Wallabies.

After being held to a 12-12 stalemate in a stop-start, error-ridden affair in wet conditions at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday night, the New Zealand first five-eighths admitted it left somewhat of a sour taste in the mouth for an All Blacks team driven to carve their place in history.

Just as their 16-test win streak had been halted by a draw against the Wallabies in  2012, the All Blacks once again could not quite finish the deal as they stood on the verge of owning the record streak by a top-tier nation outright

"It's quite a bizarre feeling -- probably the weirdest I've felt after a game," Cruden said. "It was pretty disappointing all round. Everyone, both teams, even the crowd, left a little bit disappointed.

"We have to learn from that, review the game over the next few days and try to get better for next weekend in Auckland."

The All Blacks were short of the mark across the board. Their forwards failed to deliver the possession platforms needed, they played 20 minutes a man down after being harshly dealt with by referee Jaco Peyper and they hardly fired a shot in the second half when the dominant Wallabies pretty much had their way.

It was only some world-class defending that probably prevented them slumping to just their second defeat under Hansen.

"We felt we started pretty well, and got a bit of a roll on, but as soon as you take the foot off the pedal in test footy other teams will take that momentum back. It felt like that a bit -- in the second half the Australians controlled the game really well.

"Both teams had good passages of play but no one was really able to make that killer play to put the other team out of it. It makes it more exciting for next weekend. There's a lot on the line now."

Cruden also denied that the pursuit of the historical 18th consecutive test victory had been any sort of a distraction.

"It's something we talked about, and it was something we wanted. When you want something so bad and it doesn't quite turn out the way you wanted it's pretty disappointing. For us it all starts again. We love winning, and a draw is not a win. It's not a loss either, and is quite a bizarre feeling.

"There are some pretty disappointed boys in the changing-rooms but we have to pick ourselves up and get excited because in seven days time we play again."

There was also one big positive, in Cruden's mind. "The boys showed a lot of heart. We played 20 minutes with 14 men, and the desperation the boys showed for each other, you can't coach that. It's a desire that comes from within and I'm sure you'll see it again next weekend."

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content