Waugh claims Wallabies can deny All Blacks
Phil Waugh says it is not a foregone conclusion New Zealand will claim a record-breaking victory over Australia at fortress Eden Park on Saturday but told the Wallabies they must be clinical.
The All Blacks can become the first tier-one nation to win 18 consecutive Tests if they extend their recent dominance of the trans-Tasman rivalry in Auckland.
New Zealand already have the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championship title in the bag, but there is plenty at stake as they stand on the brink of making history.
Waugh knows Michael Cheika's side will be up against it this weekend, but the former Australia flanker thinks they can thwart the world champions.
He told Omnisport: "There is a chance. The key is to convert pressure into point, I think the majority of times we've got there we've played reasonably well. We've pressed the All Blacks but never been able to convert pressure into points.
"You've got to start well, put points on the board and if you do that you're always in with a chance, but it is one of the most daunting challenges - as the statistics say it is.
"It's a big challenge for the guys, but they've got nothing to lose as well, which is a positive."
David Pocock will start on the bench and Waugh stressed the importance of the flanker and Michael Hooper getting back to their best in tandem for the Wallabies.
He added: "It's a tough one, you need three lineout jumpers, although Hooper has been thrown up in the air. You need strong ball carriers and we're starting to get that, Dean Mumm is coming of age.
"They [Pocock and Hooper] complement each other pretty very well, because they are different players: Pocock is hard on the ball, Hooper is a good ball carrier and both are very strong in defence so it's not necessarily one or the other.
"They were so effective at the World Cup last year and you really need to get them back to that sort of form."
Julian Savea replaces Waisake Naholo in the only change to the New Zealand side which beat South Africa in Durban a fortnight ago.
Bernard Foley replaces Quade Cooper at fly-half in an Australia side which, having been whitewashed by England on home soil, is aiming to avoid what would be a second 3-0 series defeat in a calendar year for the first time, with Reece Hodge taking the number 12 shirt.
Henry Speight will start on the right wing, while Nick Phipps comes in at number nine after scrum-half Will Genia returned to France for club duty with Stade Francais.