Sam Cane: It is ‘do or die’ for the All Blacks with the series up for grabs

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

All Blacks captain Sam Cane admits losing the second Test against Ireland is not ideal, but he wants his side to embrace the challenge and get things right in the final fixture.

Ireland claimed their first win over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil after triumphing 23-12 in Dunedin last weekend.

“Do or die”

Cane accepts the challenge and relates the intensity to a World Cup situation in the “do or die sense” as the series is up for grabs in the third Test.

“Absolutely, the situation is not what we wanted, but now we look at it and embrace it,” he said.

“It’s a good challenge for us. It’s do or die, it’s just like World Cup stuff, so we’re looking forward to it.”

The flanker says the All Blacks are determined to improve their poor performance and honour their jersey correctly.

“The drive is massive,” he said. “We were hugely disappointed with what we dished out on Saturday. We need to be so much better. Our drive is the fact we have pride in the jersey, we’re not happy with what we put out and we’ll be working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s about channelling our emotions the right way. We’re angry, disappointed in ourselves, but there’s no point dwelling on that performance. We have to pick ourselves up and shift the mindset, highlighting the things we need to get better at. That’s quite energising and exciting, and then we save those other emotions for Saturday night.”

Too many unforced errors

The skipper lamented the number of unforced errors but also noted how much difference a week can make in rugby union.

“Rugby can be a simple game. We had 27 unforced errors, and that’s just ridiculous. Our discipline also let us down massively,” added Cane. “A lot can change in rugby in seven days, and we have to fix that up. But the belief is strong, the group is tight, and we’re together.

“When we step on the park we’re out here to work, and there are a lot of little rugby conversations going on during the week. Pretty much no stone is left unturned.”

The All Blacks’ goal is to return to the world’s best-ranked team but first need to gain consistency in their performance.

“It’s certainly a goal to get back to world No 1, but we realise the process in doing that is performing consistently, and at the moment we haven’t been doing that.”

READ MORE: All Blacks: Ardie Savea backs head coach Ian Foster after replacement error

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