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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

All Blacks out to end home season on a high

Undefeated All Blacks play their last home game of 2012 tomorrow night.

All Black captain Richie McCaw in training last month.
All Black captain Richie McCaw in training last month.
Image: Rick Rycroft/AP/Press Association Images

NEW ZEALAND CAPTAIN Richie McCaw said his side are intent on a good performance in their last home Test of the year this weekend.

The All Blacks are currently undefeated in 2012 and host South Africa in Dunedin on Saturday night.

Following the clash, the All Blacks travel to Australia, South Africa and Argentina to complete the inaugural Rugby Championship, before an autumn European trip.

McCaw, who has won 113 caps for his country, wants the All Blacks to continue their dominance against South Africa this weekend so they can depart on their travels in good form.

“We’d like to put a good one together before we go away,” he said.

“But I think the challenge we will face will be as big as we’ve had in a long time.”

The All Blacks were not at their best when disposing of Argentina 21-5 last weekend, but McCaw said it was a good effort just to get the win.

“We’re going out to win first and foremost and, if it’s good to watch, that’s secondary,” he said.

“We realise there is a lot of skill in our team that we want to use.

“We want to improve as a team every week.

“We’ve done that at times this year but we haven’t put it together for a full game yet.

“You play Test matches to win. Some days it’s going to be tough and messy but you’re always looking to improve.”

South African captain Jean de Villiers knows how tough a task his side faces on Saturday, but believes the Springboks are capable of causing an upset.

“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t believe we could put up a show. I would be home with my daughter, who is nine months old today,” he said.

“We believe we can be competitive and, if we can turn the negatives in positives, I think we can get a good result.

“We’ve obviously got a game plan we believe in and we’ll probably stick to that but, if it allows us to throw the ball around and there is space out wide, we’ll definitely try to use it.”

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Steven O'Rourke

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