All Blacks have a demanding brotherhood
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: One of the reasons why the All Blacks are continuing to set new benchmarks on the international stage, is because their players demand the best from each other.
The All Blacks are one win away from setting a new top-tier rugby nations' world record for consecutive victories after they equalled the previous one (17 wins) with another record-breaking 57-15 win over the Springboks in Durban in their final Rugby Championship game of the season.
After that match against the Boks, there was a lot of talk from the All Black camp about their constant goal to improve in every game and Israel Dagg said much of it was down to the players motivating each other.
"A win against the Springboks is always special," Dagg said after the game.
"It is never easy and your body is always sore, so we will reflect tonight [Saturday] and have a good sit down and enjoy the moment.
"We have to keep our feet on the ground and just keep striving to get better. It is pretty cliché, but we always want to get better. We demand high standards from each other.
"It is back on the horse tomorrow [Sunday] and just get back home and get the body rested and have some family time."
Dagg said he and his teammates were not paying too much attention to the records they notched up after their win at Kings Park.
"We never thought about it, to be honest.
"We just got to keep being demanding on each other and keep trying to get better, because we are not quite there yet. I know you don't want to hear that, but we just have to keep our feet on the ground and just keep on getting better," he added.
The All Blacks will be favourites to knock over the Wallabies in their Bledisloe Cup match in Auckland on October 22 - a match which will give them the opportunity to set a new world record for top-tier nations.
However, Dagg believes they will shoot themselves in the foot if they take the Australians lightly.
"If we think that [it will be easy], we are going to be tipped over," said Dagg.
"We know the Australians are going to be a different beast and they got a lot of pride in their jersey.
"They have not won there [Eden Park] in a while so they are going to go there and be pretty tough and physical."
By Warren Fortune