New Zealand v South Africa, Tri-Nations, Auckland, July 10
McCaw plays down talk of revenge
July 6, 2010

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw insists his side will not be motivated by revenge when they tackle South Africa in this year's Tri-Nations opener at Eden Park on Saturday.

The All Blacks lost all three Tests against the Springboks in last year's competition as the Springboks powered to the southern hemisphere crown with a physical approach that proved more than a match for their fierce rivals. McCaw admits those defeats were hard to take, but he knows his side must keep their calm and be methodical in the heat of battle.

"I guess there's a bit of memory about last year and the guys who were there are pretty keen to get stuck in again. It's been a while since we had a crack (at South Africa) and we've had a while to think about it," McCaw said. "We've just got to be careful we don't get too caught up in that. I've been looking forward to it for a while, and the reality is in the Tri-Nations with two home games to start we've got to win them if we're going to be in with a shot."

Victory at Eden Park on Saturday would extend the visitors' 73-year wait for a win over the All Blacks in Auckland, but McCaw does not believe the outcome this weekend will have any meaning should the sides meet again at the same venue during the latter stages of next year's World Cup, with both semi-finals and the final being played in the city.

"That's secondary," said McCaw. "It would be nice if that becomes the case, but it's not going to be the difference this week or next year. We do enjoy playing there and, hey, we'd love to keep that record going there and we certainly want to win on Saturday. But that's not the sole reason we want to do well. We want to do well because we want to beat the Springboks and win the Tri-Nations, and if it adds a bit to us down the track that will be good."

McCaw will win his 84th cap at Eden Park in an All Blacks side that shows four changes from that which completed a series victory over Wales last month. Ma'a Nonu gets the nod ahead of Benson Stanley at inside centre and will partner Conrad Smith in midfield with Richard Kahui making way. Joe Rokocoko will start on the left wing for the dropped Zac Guildford while Owen Franks is restored at tight-head prop in place of Neemia Tialata.


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