Sunday 23 September 2018

Read insists All Blacks still have to improve

Kieran Read, New Zealand. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE
Kieran Read, New Zealand. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

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

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 ... matches. Play like we did this year next year and it won't be good enough.

"Teams are improving all the time, so we've got to keep doing that too, that's one thing we've learned over the years."

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