All Blacks will have to up the ante next season, warns Read

New Zealand must make big improvements to stand any chance of repeating their perfect year next season, according to Kieran Read.

The All Blacks won 14 consecutive matches in their 2013 schedule, but number eight Read thinks similar performance levels will simply not be good enough next year.

The world champions became the first professional-era international side to complete a 100% campaign with a 24-22 victory over Ireland in Dublin.

Read admitted completing that feat will be a lifelong source of pride but, after their summer break, the Crusaders loose forward said the All Blacks will get straight back to work and straight down to forcing further wide-reaching changes. Unsure where the 2013 vintage sits in All Blacks or even world rugby history, Read said: “People will talk about how good this team is, but our job is to go out and win Test matches.

“We’ve created a real bond in this squad and we’re right up there with everyone able to do the job. You can’t look too far ahead in this game, you’ve got to adapt and change.

“We’ll have a great summer off now and enjoy a bit of family time over Christmas. But then we’ve got to come back and push to improve all over again.”

England wrecked New Zealand’s quest for a perfect 2012 at the final hurdle with a 38-21 victory at Twickenham 12 months ago. Read said New Zealand have now been able to put that loss to bed, and can almost forget about perfect records altogether.

He said: “Maybe it lays a ghost to rest, we weren’t really focused on that target though. It’s going to be nice now it’s done, guys will write about it and say perhaps how good we are, and maybe how lucky we were in Dublin.

“But you’ll look back on it in your lifetime and see it as a pretty proud moment. It’s a tough thing to do and that showed by how hard a match it was on Sunday. They got their reward for playing really well at the start of the game, so shutting them out for the rest of the match was a pretty good effort from us.”

Aaron Cruden’s overtime conversion sealed New Zealand’s perfect year and Read said the fly-half’s strong performance indicates the sheer depth of the All Blacks squad, with Dan Carter missing through injury.

Read said: “I think it’s shown all year we can do that.

“He’s been outstanding for us, he steps up seamlessly and that’s great.

“Dan will come back stronger I guess next year, but we’ve got someone ready to step up whenever needed and that’s massive.”


The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner