The last time Australia and New Zealand faced one another the Wallabies brought a 15-match All Black winning streak to an end in dramatic fashion and lock Sam Whitelock is in the mood for some retribution this weekend.
That Test match was the only one the All Blacks lost last year so for the majority of the players this weekend's clash in Auckland represents unfinished business of some sort.
Whitelock told stuff.co.nz: "The loss in Hong Kong did hurt us and we're not afraid to say that.
"With Test match rugby you normally play another game the next week, so it was great to have another distraction. But it's in the back of some guys' minds and we'd love to right that wrong," he added.
The All Blacks have built up a nice head of steam by soring 100 points in their two games this season against Fiji and an understrength Springbok outfit, and Whitelock confirmed that their opening Tri-Nations encounter in Wellington last week prepared them well for the sterner challenge that the Wallabies will present this weekend.
He said: "From that game [against South Africa] we got some really good learnings out of it. We probably exposed a few of our weaknesses, but also worked on a few of our strengths as well.
"It was good to try some things again. We were able to find out where we were weak and how we can address that and go forward," explained Whitelock.
Whitelock got his first opportunity to play alongside All Black second row veteran Ali Williams in the first two Tests this year, and he said that he is relishing the opportunity to learn whilst playing with some greats of the game.
"It's great for me," he said. "I had a great year last year, I had Isaac Ross, Chris Jack and Brad Thorn to play alongside and work off.
"This year it's been the same but with a few new personnel changes. It's really great for any young guy to be able to take their strengths and just grow and try to learn as much as you can from those guys," he added.
Many have pinpointed the Australian halfback pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper as the most dangerous elements in the Wallaby side, but Whitelock believes that targeting specific players would be foolish.
He explained: "Against any side you can't focus on one area. If you do then normally another area comes up and can bite you.
"Australia have got some great forwards and they've got some outstanding backs as we all know. All 15 of us that are out there have got to play well as well as the guys on the bench, we've all got to outplay our opposite number," he said.
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