27 Oct 2020

Intensity to lift again for Bledisloe III

6:20 am on 27 October 2020

The All Blacks expect the physicality level to be ramped up again for the third Bledisloe Cup clash against Australia in Sydney on Saturday, with the home side desperate to give themselves a chance of regaining the trophy.

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles.

Dane Coles Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand have held the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy since 2003 and have a 1-0 lead in the four-match series following a 16-16 draw in Wellington and a 27-7 win at Eden Park.

The Wallabies need to win both the remaining games, at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday and at Brisbane's Lang Park on Nov. 7, to reclaim the trophy.

"The intensity will probably raise from Eden Park, as there is so much on the line," All Blacks hooker Dane Coles told reporters in a conference call from Sydney on Monday.

"We took a bit of a punch on the nose in that first game, and they dictated a lot of the game around our physicality.

"We knew we needed to make a step up and come out with some good intent.

"We did that at times, but we still have a lot to improve in our game and get better at it."

Coles added, however, that their aggression had to be channelled properly.

"It is not about going out and being an idiot," the 71-test hooker said. "It is just making sure you stick to your cleans and your tackles and stuff like that."

Wallabies first five James O'Connor.

James O'Connor Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The All Blacks pack are likely to be boosted by the return of veteran lock Sam Whitelock after he missed the second test with concussion symptoms.

"I have had a bit of extra time to take it slowly," Whitelock said. "I have been training fully, so I just need some boys to tackle.

"Hopefully I'll get through that (on Tuesday)."

Meanwhile the Wallabies are confident they only need to make a small number of tweaks to their performance to keep the series alive.

"We know what the standards are and they dropped from the first week," first five James O'Connor said at the team's training base in the Hunter Valley, about 270km (170 miles) north of Sydney, on Monday. "We know what we're capable of.

"Across the board there just needs to be little improvements and be more efficient.

"It's just little tweaks."