All Blacks captain Sam Cane on Tuesday described their squad as being “disappointed and hurt” by their comprehensive defeat in their opening Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks in Nelspruit last weekend, and he says this week has been all about ensuring they are more clinical and efficient.

While the Springboks are buoyant after their 26-10 win, their second biggest ever over their greatest rivals, the All Blacks go to Ellis Park on Saturday having lost three matches in a row this year including the previous two defeats to Ireland.

ALSO READ: ‘Too much pressure’: Boks forced All Blacks into making basic errors

“As disappointed and hurt as we are, there is nowhere else we would want to be than having another crack at them,” Cane said after New Zealand’s training session in Inanda on Tuesday.

“We are far happier getting back on the horse that sitting on the plane back home not having won a Test. Yesterday [Monday] we had a good look at the opportunities we wasted and where we need to be sharper.

“We have been brutally honest with each other, it’s nothing personal but just trying to get better as a team as a whole. We’re obviously not happy with the results, but there’s been no lack of effort.

“It’s a good camp to be involved in, hand on heart we are tight as a group, but it’s just frustrating that that’s not translating on to the field. There’s a trophy (Freedom Cup) on the line at Ellis Park and we are desperate for a better performance,” Cane said.

ALSO READ: Boks expecting spirited response from All Blacks in second Test

While the loose forward praised the Springboks for “knowing their game and executing extremely well”, he said the All Blacks had focused in their training on not just key weak points in Nelspruit like the aerial battle and the breakdown, but also on the unexpected.

“There were 15 contestable kicks last weekend and we only took five of them, so we expect the Springboks to keep going with that, and they also had good success at the breakdown,” Cane said.

“But it would be naïve not to think they will try to exploit us in different areas too. So our focus has been more on what we can control.

ALSO READ: Win or bust for All Blacks boss Ian Foster at Ellis Park

“I thought we had good intensity last week, but their pressure in key moments flipped our momentum. In the first half we were hardly able to have a crack at them,” he added.

“Our defensive intensity was right up there, we defended the breakdowns really well. So I don’t think we’re far off and there were definitely steps in the right direction,” Cane said.

By editor