New Zealand

Read anticipates tough trip

Mon, 17 Sep 2012 18:18
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It's going to be a tough road trip for us
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All Black eighthman Kieran Read says the world champions will have to be at the top of their game to clinch the Rugby Championship crown on the road.

Riding a 14-match unbeaten streak that includes four consecutive Rugby Championship victories, the all-conquering All Blacks are a win away from winning the inaugural four-nation tournament.

Despite their momentum, Read said wins over the Pumas in La Plata next weekend and the Springboks in Johannesburg a week later would be hard-earned and would require the All Blacks to lift their game.

"The South Africans and Argentinians will both grow an arm and a leg at home," Read told Sportal.

"The Pumas are improving very quickly and it's going to be a tough road trip for us. We're going to have to be right on our game to match them.

"But I think our team is not far away from clicking and really putting in a good performance."

After their tense win over South Africa at the weekend, in which the Springboks kicked just two of nine kicks at goal, Read said they would put particular importance on improving their discipline.

"You've got to be very disciplined in every Test you play," Read said.

"I guess the penalties meant we didn't get as much territory as we would have wanted.

"We wanted to match them at the breakdown and be physical at the tackle and sometimes you get a bit on edge and likely to be penalised. We have to be more disciplined so we'll work on not conceding so many penalties."

Read said the victory was bittersweet as they again failed to click into top gear.   

"It wasn't exactly what we wanted. We've got to ensure we're better than that and don't concede so many penalties," said Read.

"You look at the statistics and, if they had kicked their goals, we could have been in trouble.

"But it was very satisfying to win. It was a really tough game. They really brought it to us physically."

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