All Blacks captain Sam Cane says his team’s flop in Perth last year won’t be haunting them when they front up for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney.
New Zealand’s last trip to Australia resulted in a shock 47-26 loss at Perth’s Optus Stadium in 2019.
The All Blacks lead the current four-match series 1-0, but wins for Australia in Sydney and Brisbane would see the Wallabies snare the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.
The All Blacks learned vital lessons from last year’s loss in Perth, with players and coaches later realising their preparation and mindset weren’t up to scratch.
But Cane said that result hadn’t been spoken about amongst the players this week, and wouldn’t be playing on their minds.
“It was well over a year ago now. We’re not spending energy focusing on that,” Cane said.
“It still hurts when you bring it up, but it hasn’t been spoken about.
“We’ve had two Tests in the last three weeks against the Wallabies, so we’ve taken lessons from each of those games.”
The Wallabies were brave in their 16-16 draw in the series opener in Wellington, but they were brought back to Earth in a 27-7 loss in Auckland.
Australia missed 40 tackles in that second match, and they know a repeat display in game three will cost them dearly.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has taken a huge gamble by naming debutants Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone as his starting 10-12 combination.
Lolesio replaces flyhalf James O’Connor (knee), while Simone fills the void left by Matt Toomua (groin).
It marks the first time since 1947 that the Wallabies will field a 10-12 combination without a single Test cap between them against the All Blacks.