Motivation no problem for Messam

Date published: October 16 2013

New Zealand flanker Liam Messam has insisted there will be no drop off in intensity for the “dead-rubber” against Australia.

New Zealand flanker Liam Messam has insisted there will be no drop off in intensity for the “dead-rubber” against Australia.

Two weeks on from their epic victory over South Africa at Ellis Park and unbeaten in 2013 with a 9-0 record, the All Blacks will look to take their winning streak into double figures for the year against the Wallabies before travelling to Europe.

Messam has won back the number six jersey from the impressive Steven Luatua and scored two tries in the game in Johannesburg, as the All Blacks made it back-to-back titles in The Rugby Championship.

Coming off the back of what many have regarded as one of the greatest Tests ever, Messam insisted the squad were still motivated to put in a performance in front of their fans.

“The boys are really motivated. We want to back up another great performance like we did in South Africa,” said Messam.

“We know it's going to be a tough challenge and I guess when you play against the Wallabies in an All Black jumper there's enough motivation there in itself. The boys are really motivated to back up a performance.

“It's been good, the focus is there, and the edge is there. Now we just have to wait till Saturday.

“We're back at home, back in New Zealand, back in front of our friends and family and you're putting on that black jersey and playing against the Wallabies. We want to make a statement, so we need to back up our performance with another great one.”

Dunedin is familiar territory for Ben Smith, who scored the most tries in this year's Rugby Championship (eight) and has had an excellent season at Super Rugby and Test level.

Smith has been moved to outside centre in the absence of his namesake, Conrad Smith, with Cory Jane returning on the wing after spending most of the year on the sidelines.

“[Ben] enjoys it down here. I think they call the stadium the Blender after Ben [nicknamed Bender], so he's enjoyed his time at centre running round and showing us the new stadium,” added Messam.

“[Cory] is an outstanding player – one of the best in the world on the wing so to have him back in this environment is really pleasing and it's good to see him come back from such an horrific injury to where he's at now.”