Record-chasing All Blacks wary of Boks - Smith


Ben Smith insists New Zealand will not underestimate South Africa as they look to equal the record for the most consecutive Test victories.

Steve Hanson's All Blacks can join their predecessors from the 1960s and the Springboks of the 1990s in managing 17 straight wins should they triumph in Durban on Sunday.

And a new record could then be set if they see off Australia in Auckland on October 22.

Vice-captain Smith acknowledged the prospect of achieving that feat is now motivating the team after they swiftly won the 2016 Rugby Championship. 

"When you're older it would be great to look back and say you were a part of it," he said.

"This weekend it would be 17, which would be equalling the record, but we've got to concentrate on the process of what we do during the week so we can work towards that.

"We know how big the challenge is to play in Argentina and South Africa. The challenge of playing the Springboks in South Africa is a huge one so it's one they'll be ready for. They've got some dangerous players in the backline that we need to be aware of."

South Africa defeated Australia 18-10 on Saturday, while the All Blacks were 36-17 winners over Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Like Smith, lock Brodie Retallick also has his eye on the prize of a new milestone, while sending out an ominous warning about the team's capacity to improve further.

"It's a great thing to try and contest," he said of the record.

"We don't want to drop a game. We've played these teams in New Zealand and now we're doing it in their backyards so it's something we want to be able to prove; that we can travel and also win. That's another motivating factor.

"They had a win in the weekend and [are] no doubt coming off a high from that and looking to pressure us.

"We probably haven't put a complete 80 minutes together. Sometimes it's been a real arm-wrestle and sometimes like at the weekend we let it slip so it's fair to say we're still looking to dominate for a full 80 and that's a challenge in itself."