Rugby Championship
All Blacks driven by fear of losing: Jerome Kaino
August 13, 2014

Jerome Kaino, unlike some of his All Blacks team-mates, knows what it's like to lose to Australia; it's a feeling he's determined not to replicate.

The bruising back-rower hasn't faced the Wallabies since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, after spending two seasons in Japan, but he is favoured by many to start over 2014 incumbent Liam Messam after returning with strong performances for the Blues in Super Rugby and for New Zealand against England in June. Kaino wasn't on the field when the Wallabies last beat the All Blacks, in the 2011 Tri Nations, but he did play in the last-minute 26-24 loss in Hong Kong in 2010.

"[Bledisloe Cup Tests] are the ones that you hate to lose," he said. "I think that's why a lot of the boys really prepare well and step up for those games. I'm not saying they're more important than any other Test but you don't want to be in that changing room after an Aussie Test being on the losing side."

The Bledisloe Cup hasn't been in Australian hands since 2002, and Kaino says the trophy means plenty to him.

All Blacks on Wallabies alert

"It's a huge one for me. Outside of the World Cup, it's one of the trophies that I love playing for and love to keep," he said. "Our build-up and everything is built on what it's like to lose against, them and we really focus hard on that."

New Zealand expect to face a tough Wallabies team at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday, Australia buoyed by the confidence of the Super Rugby-winning Waratahs, and Kaino says the All Blacks must stay focused.

"We hear the noises coming from over there," he said. "Obviously they're still on a high after the Waratahs win. We know what we need to do to prepare well and we try not to get too caught up in the hype of everything, but we know a Bledisloe Test is a Bledisloe Test and we need to prepare well."


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