McKenzie wants All Blacks to bring their best

SARAH HARVEY
Last updated 15:39 22/08/2014
LEADERS: Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie and captain Michael Hooper talk tactics at a training session yesterday.
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LEADERS: Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie and captain Michael Hooper talk tactics at a training session yesterday.

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The Wallabies are brimming with confidence and have challenged the All Blacks to bring their A game to tomorrow night's test at Eden Park in Auckland.

The Australian side arrived in Auckland yesterday and have their captain's run this afternoon.

They come to Auckland having not won at Eden Park since 1986 but captain Michael Hooper said at a press conference it was not something that bothered his side.

''We are playing the All Blacks at a different park this week. There are a few changes for them, the same team for us we are thinking about the improvements we can make on the field rather than the whole picture going around.

''We are footy players who want to see where we can get better on attack and defence, it's as simple as that.''

Coach Ewen McKenzie said he didn't fear a bruised All Blacks.

''It's not about poking a bear with a stick, it's a competitive game, we want them to bring their A game because we are going to bring ours.'' McKenzie said his side had trained in the rain all week and so were relishing the clear conditions in Auckland.

''It feels really good to come here, different hotel and very different feel about the preparations. The guys have trained well.

''We know we've improved a lot from last week, we have been focussing on that. We know what we are capable of. We were off the pace at key moments last week, there were key decisions we didn't get right. We expect to do better this week.

''I have been watching the All Blacks for a long time. They have been the most consistent side for 100 years ... but it doesn't mean they win every game so we look forward to the challenge.''

McKenzie said his side's confidence had been on the up for a while.

''Our confidence has been increasing for a period of time now, we didn't come out of that game patting ourselves on the back and thinking all was good. We were disappointed we didn't win it so when we looked at the video we saw lots of things we could do better. It wasn't about the All Blacks.''

Hooper was asked whether he had learned from last week's test and whether he would have taken any decisions differently.

''It's good you have situations like that. It's new for me I am learning as a captain and you get to look back and say maybe you could have done this or did that.''

McKenzie said he wasn't really buying into conversations about refereeing.

''There has been a lot of talk about the refereeing ... there's lots of opinions about last week ... I think they have done a pretty good job of trying to get some consistency in that area and SANZAR has as well.

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''Team's have to look at themselves over time rather than just at one game.

''It's up to the refereeing fraternity to get that consistency and I think there has been a lot of consistency around parts of the game."

- Stuff

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