Smith focuses on attitude

Date published: August 15 2016

New Zealand vice captain Ben Smith believes the right attitude will be key if they are to defeat Australia in their Rugby Championship opener.

Saturday's game in Sydney kicks off this year's tournament and following a strong Super Rugby campaign, the Kiwis enter as hot favourite.

Australia in contrast were poor in the club competition but full-back Smith stressed that if his team is not right mentally, they could lose.

"We've been concentrating on what we're going to bring and the attitude that we're going to take towards this game. That's a big emphasis for us," he told the Dominion Post ahead the mouth-watering opening fixture.

"I'm sure the Aussies will be planning their game-plan and trying to mix things up but for us it's really getting our attitude right this week."

The All Blacks have not won at ANZ Stadium in their two most recent visits there, going down 27-19 last year which followed a 12-12 draw.

"Yeah, we know the record over here isn't that great," added Smith. "The Bledisloe Cup means a lot to both teams so it's going to make for a good encounter this weekend.

"Every year is different and I think this year it's going to be really competitive. Whoever turns up on Saturday with the right attitude is going to go a long way towards doing the business and getting that cup."