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, 22 September 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 15h30 Bloemfontein
Cheetahs v Leinster 18h00 Bloemfontein
Glasgow Warriors v Munster 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Kingsholm
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 23 September 2017
Sharks v Blue Bulls 13h00 Durban
Bath v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Recreation Ground
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Sale Sharks 14h00 Allianz Park
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 14h15 Sportsground
Western Province v Griquas 15h15 Newlands
Kings v Zebre 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 19
South Africa 4 2 1 1 11
Australia 4 1 1 2 8
Argentina 4 0 0 4 0