All Blacks fear overconfidence in Eden Park Wallabies match

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 3:18am


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Remember Ireland. Remember France. The All Blacks have dug into their file of close shaves for motivation ahead of their rematch with Australia today where they are overwhelming favourites.

With the Wallabies all-but written off, the pre-match spotlight has instead been more on the expected impact of a departing Sonny Bill Williams and a returning Quade Cooper - two players laden with outrageous skills.

How they perform depends on ball supply and the Wallabies have been hampered by injuries to three first-choice forwards including highly rated flanker David Pocock.

The injuries and poor form in the backs have forced Wallabies coach Robbie Deans to making drastic changes to the side outplayed by the All Blacks 27-19 in the opening Rugby Championship bout in Sydney a week ago.

It was a match that never reached great heights, and while the All Blacks dominated, their scoreline was restricted by a lack of precision and mistakes at crucial times rather than Wallaby pressure.

The biggest hurdle for the All Blacks at their Eden Park fortress, where they have won two World Cups and haven't been beaten in 29 matches dating back 18 years is not to get over confident.

Coach Steve Hansen has drilled the message this week that there was a similar air of invincibility before last year's World Cup final against France yet the All Blacks only scraped home 8-7.

Again in June this year, after beating Ireland 42-10 in the first test, they were saved a week later by a drop goal on full-time by Dan Carter to scrape home 22-19 in the second test.