Lessons learned from the recent drawn Lions series are firing up the All Blacks ahead of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup opener against Australia in Sydney, skipper Kieran Read says.
A comprehensive review of the three-Test Lions series had been invaluable in focusing the All Blacks ahead of the Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup, Read said today.
"It's been a massive learning for us as a group, what we took out of that series around how we need to play this game and how we need to react to pressure," he said.
"Hopefully that will show in this championship, and especially these Bledisloe Cup games."
The All Blacks won the first Lions Test 30-15, lost the second 21-24 and then drew the decider 15-15.
Read said while the results were overall very disappointing, the All Blacks weren't lingering too long on the outcome.
"It's something you've got to take - it's reality. We've got to make sure it helps us, make sure we learn from it, and move forward.
"It's a game at the highest level where there are small margins. Teams are chasing us, and they're getting pretty close so we can't just rest and sit where we are."
Read said it wasn't the unyielding Lions defence which proved costly, rather the All Blacks' inability to make the most of their chances.
"We created everything and just didn't quite finish off.
"We've got the skills to adapt to those type of defences if that's what's presented to us, and if something different is presented, we'll adapt to that as well."
The All Blacks dominated last year's Bledisloe Cup series, winning 42-8 in Sydney, 29-9 in Wellington and 37-10 in Auckland.
But Read said those results, and the poor Australian performances in Super Rugby this season, counted for little.
"Last year I think we just played a really simple game and trusted ourselves," he said.
"It probably showcased the skills we've got in this team, we were able to catch and pass and score tries on the edge.
"I don't think it will be anything like that this week," he said.
"It'll be a massive, massive game in Sydney and we've got to be prepared for that."