18 Jun 2016

All Blacks skipper promises more clinical approach

12:45 pm on 18 June 2016

All Blacks captain Kieran Read is promising a much more clinical performance from his side in tonight's second Test against Wales.

Kieran Read

Kieran Read Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The hosts are seeking to wrap up the three-Test series with a game to spare, a win in Wellington tonight would achieve just that.

Read conceded the All Blacks were rusty in last week's win at Eden Park but he said tonight's effort should be a significant improvement.

The All Blacks forged ahead of Wales, after trailing 21-18 after an hour and then Read popped up with the match-winning try.

The All Blacks forged ahead of Wales, after trailing 21-18 after an hour and then Read popped up with the match-winning try. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Another week together has been great and the guys got a bit of confidence out of last week's (first test win in Auckland) and we're building nicely, but we can't just rest on where we're at. We're going to keep working hard to get better."

Read said cleaning up the breakdown would be crucial to their plans to play the second Test at speed.

Wales did a good job of disrupting the All Blacks' breakdown and slowing down the speed of the ball being delivered to halfback Aaron Smith in last week's game.

Read said his side have identified where they must improve.

"Just a little bit of urgency from our point of view. We can't wait for them to attack it, so it comes from our ball-carrier on attack and certainly on defence. We need to get there more quickly and transition from attack more smoothly and commit more numbers to the breakdown."

Read was expecting Wales to run the ball as much as possible tonight, despite all signs pointing to the Welsh doing a whole lot of kicking at Westpac Stadium.

Kieran Read tackled by Gareth Anscombe.

Kieran Read tackled by Gareth Anscombe. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

They are a tired side at the end of their international season and have several squad members playing their third game in a week, following Tuesday's hiding at the hands of the Chiefs.

Wales have also picked a first-five at fullback and a fullback on the wing, further hinting they're likely to send plenty of aerial attacks the All Blacks way.

But Read expected them to keep the ball in hand.

"They've shown their hand and they were reasonably successful at it, so we've prepared for that and know that we can get a lot better (with the ball in hand) as well. We need to bring a bit more intensity and physicality in our approach and that will give us more time and space on the ball."

Tonight's Test is the first between the All Blacks and Wales in Wellington, despite the two teams having played against each other for more than a century.

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