Dane Coles admits New Zealand took Australia for granted before record Perth defeat
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Last Updated: 12/08/19 8:38am
Dane Coles admits New Zealand took Australia for granted before their record Bledisloe Cup defeat in Perth, but warns the All Blacks are determined to fight back.
Australia romped to a 47-26 win over the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup match of the year giving the Wallabies a chance of lifting the trophy for the first time since 2002.
The red card shown to New Zealand lock Scott Barrett just before half-time in Perth certainly helped Australia, but Coles admits the All Blacks were not been good enough.
"The hard thing to take is that we lacked intent," Coles told reporters in Auckland, where the return match takes place on Saturday.
"They were really desperate to win and you could see it the way they played. Our physicality and attitude wasn't where it needs to be.
"They brought a real hunger and were desperate to get the Bledisloe Cup. There's a bit of soul-searching for the week. We need to find what it means to be an All Black."
New Zealand had won 10 of their previous 11 Tests against Australia before Saturday's match, often racking up big scores in the trans-Tasman Sea contests.
Coles said the All Blacks forwards had been unable to match the physicality the Wallabies brought to the match even before Barrett was dismissed.
"Maybe we took it a little bit for granted if we're being honest," said Coles.
"We spoke about that. As an All Black, that's pretty tough to take but we're lucky we get another opportunity to prove to everyone in New Zealand how much this Bledisloe Cup means to us.
"They had a lot of hunger and were desperate, and we didn't show that," he added.
On Saturday, New Zealand will have to find a replacement for centre Jack Goodhue, who strained his hamstring in Perth, and almost certainly Barrett, who faces a lengthy suspension.
Whoever is wearing the famous black shirt at Eden Park, Coles said, would be banishing all thoughts of the World Cup from their minds and focusing on securing the Bledisloe Cup for a 17th straight year.
"I don't want to be in that position on Saturday that we were last Saturday," Coles said.
"Momentum and the World Cup is a by-product of what happens this week. I'm just thinking about putting everything I can into earning the right to put a hand on that Bledisloe.
"It's all about actions, mate, not words. It's about what's in your gut, being deliberate, not going through motions, and making sure everything we do this week is purposeful and meaningful."