HomeSportRugbyPoor performance hurts McCaw

Poor performance hurts McCaw


BRISBANE – New Zealand rugby captain Richie McCaw confessed that he might one day regret that his side had failed to match the record for successive Test wins on Saturday, but he was most upset at their disappointing performance in the 18-18 draw with Australia.

The world champions, who had been in scintillating form in their last two Tests against Argentina and South Africa, were uncharacteristically error-prone in failing to win for the first time in 17 Tests at Lang Park.

A 17th win would have allowed them to match the record for successive Test wins by top-tier nations held jointly by the All Blacks of the late 1960s and the South Africa team of 1997-1998.

“It would have been nice down the track to have said you have been unbeaten for however long, but the thing that hurts, that you try and get right, is the performance getting better each week,” he told reporters.

“This week we wanted to go out and play well and beat the Wallabies and we didn’t do that, that’s what’s most disappointing.

“I guess we’ll reflect when we get home, unhappy that you didn’t get it right, but that’s how it goes and we just have to fix it up.”

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said the All Blacks had been “10% worse” and the Wallabies “5% better” than when New Zealand won their first two encounters of the season.

“It was greasy out there, but when you’re out there and it’s like that, you’ve got to look after the ball,” McCaw said.
“The Wallabies certainly put pressure on us off the line and were in our faces.

“For a lot of the first half we didn’t have the ball and when we did we tried to overplay it.

“It was a combination of a few things that forced us into mistakes. I don’t like using excuses. We should have been good enough to sort it out.”

While Hansen was fuming about a headbutt on McCaw by Wallabies flank Scott Higginbotham, the All Blacks player himself was more resigned.

“It’s on TV, so it will get dealt with,” he said. “It does get frustrating at times and annoying, but there’s not much I can do about it.”

Higginbotham has been cited over the incident and will face a disciplinary hearing tomorrow. -Reuters

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