All Blacks still chasing perfection

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 18:28
Large brodie retallick all blacks 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Despite a 16-match winning streak, All Black lock Brodie Retallick says he and his teammates are still targeting an 80-minute performance.

The reigning world champions are just two wins away from setting a new record (18 consecutive wins) and they have secured this year's Rugby Championship title after only four rounds.

Ahead of their Round Six encounter against the Springboks this weekend in Durban, Retallick told reporters that they are always setting new challenges for themselves and a "perfect 80" is one of them.

"We probably have not put a complete 80-minute performance and at times it has been a real arm-wrestle," said Retallick.

"Like the weekend [36-17 win over Argentina] where we probably let it slip. It is fair to say we are still looking to dominate for a full 80 and that is a challenge in itself."

Retallick added: "We don't want to drop a game. We played these teams [Argentina and South Africa] in New Zealand and now we are playing them in their own backyards. 

"It is something that we want to be able to prove - that we can travel and also win. That is another motivating factor."

Meanwhile, All Black veteran Jerome Kaino has rejoined the All Blacks squad in Durban ahead of the Kings Park showdown. 

Kaino missed his team's win over Argentina in Buenos Aires because of a shoulder injury, but he is set to regain his place in the team for the clash against the Boks.

"It is great to have him [Kaino] back in the squad," said Retallick. 

"No doubt he will be fresh and ready to go. He keeps the standards high and makes sure no one is slipping. 

"He has got a huge calmness and the players have a lot of respect for him."

By Warren Fortune, in Durban
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 May 2018
Crusaders v Hurricanes 07h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sunwolves 09h45 Melbourne
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sat, 26 May 2018
Chiefs v Waratahs 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Highlanders 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Brumbies 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 14h00 London
Stormers v Lions 15h15 Newlands
Leinster v Scarlets 17h00 Dublin
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0