New Zealand 20 England 15: Richie McCaw demands more from the All Blacks as he admits 'England will be better' in second Test
McCaw feels the Kiwis were half a yard off the pace in the first half but trusts his team to up their performance in the second Test next week
Sunday 08 June 2014
Richie McCaw accepts New Zealand must improve if they are to complete a series victory over England in Dunedin on Saturday.
The All Blacks edged the first Test 20-15 with a 78th-minute try from Conrad Smith, safeguarding their 20-year winning sequence at Eden Park and completing a 15th successive victory.
England have players from Aviva Premiership finalists Northampton and Saracens available for the Forsyth Barr Stadium showdown and McCaw is braced for another ferocious assault.
"We got there in the end but we need to be a lot better going into the second Test because we expect England to be better," the New Zealand captain said.
Read more: Brave England suffer late heartbreak
Five reasons to be cheerful in defeat
Lancaster: Now we must bottle frustration and use it
"We got what we expected from England. It was pretty competitive around the breakdown and we expected the physicality they showed.
"We were a bit rusty in the first half. Test rugby is a step up in intensity and pace and it felt like we were half a yard off it.
"We started to get into the game in the second half and built a bit of pressure."
The match was ultimately settled by the quick thinking of Aaron Cruden, who declined a shot at goal in favour of a tap penalty and shortly after Smith crossed in the right corner.
McCaw backs Cruden's decision even though he was not consulted.
"I didn't say anything to Aaron, but I believe you have to back your boys to have a crack," he said.
"If they're always looking at me then they'll never take any opportunities. Guys have to be able to think for themselves.
"I was ready to point at the posts but he thought better of it and at the end of the day it paid off.
"If we'd kicked the goal we'd have been up by three but England would have had the chance to go for field position again."
England will make several changes for the second Test, but All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen expects more of the same at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
"They won't change how they play. Their gameplan might vary by one to two degrees, but basically we'll get what we got in the first Test," Hansen said.
"Maybe there will be one or two fresh faces, but then they may be very happy with what they have and keep the same players."
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees