New Zealand 29-10 Wales, Hamilton, June 26
Record-breaker McCaw calls for improvement
June 27, 2010
Richie McCaw barks instructions © Getty Images
Richie McCaw has put aside the achievement of becoming the All Blacks' most successful skipper in the wake of his side's win over Wales in Hamilton to concentrate on their shortcomings prior to the Tri-Nations.
The Crusaders flanker picked up his 40th victory as skipper thanks to a 29-10 result, surpassing the record of the legendary Sean Fitzpatrick, but was keen to stress that there remains plenty of work to do in attack prior to the arrival of the Springboks at Eden Park on July 10.
"Turning over the ball and letting them off the hook was a bit disappointing," he said. "When we did hold the ball and get down their end, it was penalties we were getting. We just kept it ticking over, taking the three points. It would have been nice to build pressure and score tries. But in the end it put them out of the game."
Wales coach Warren Gatland concurred with the sentiments of McCaw, installing the Springboks, whose second string defeated Wales 34-31 on June 5, as favourites for the Tri-Nations.
"South Africa are a very big team, they're very physical, they've got a lot of players who are incredibly experienced and they're coming into the Tri-Nations with confidence after the Bulls and the Stormers [reached the Super 14 final]. And they're World Cup champions," he said. "You've got to put South Africa as favourites at the moment but they're two different teams that play two different styles."
Most successful Test captains:
50 - John Smit (South Africa, 70 Tests as skipper, 2003-)