Rugby Championship: All Blacks can get even better - Read


Kieran Read warned that New Zealand can still raise their game as they eye a victory over Australia at Westpac Stadium on Saturday to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

The All Blacks steamrollered the Wallabies in the opening game of the Rugby Championship last weekend, mauling Michael Cheika's side 42-8 in Sydney.

Australia have not held the Bledisloe Cup since back in 2002 and victory for the world champions in Wellington would keep it in their cabinet for at least another year.

New Zealand totally outplayed their Trans-Tasman rivals in the first meeting between the two sides since the World Cup final last year, but captain Read reckons they still have room for improvement.

He said: "Our control of the ball needs to be a lot better. We probably coughed up a little too much pill in the second half last week.

"Looking ahead to tomorrow, our territory game will be crucial against a team that has a few kickers and that will look to really come at us there."

Read said there is no way New Zealand will be complacent a week after their crushing defeat of Australia.

"We love playing for the Bledisloe, it is a massive driver for us. At the moment, that's still up in the air," he added.

"We can't say anything about holding on to it until we do the job," the number eight said.

Chiefs centre Anton Lienert-Brown will make his Test debut and Joe Moody returns for the All Blacks, who are without the injured Ryan Crotty, Waisake Naholo and Codie Taylor.

Quade Cooper returns at fly-half for Australia, with Bernard Foley moving to inside centre after Matt Giteau, Matt Toomua and Rob Horne were injured in the first Test.

Adam Coleman replaces the dropped Rob Simmons in the second row, while blindside flanker Scott Fardy is recalled and outside centre Samu Kerevi also gets his chance.

The critics have rounded on Australia following their humiliating drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks which came after they were whitewashed by England on home soil in June.

Wallabies head coach Cheika said: "It's very easy for people to jump on and put the boot in.

"That obviously hurts us. [But] we'll take it because we haven't performed, but when it gets tough, that's the time when you show your colours. I know where my colours are."