Read reflects on highs and lows of Australia rivalry

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With two Cup games remaining to decide the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship, Read told the All Blacks podcast, powered by SAP, that the Bledisloe Cup had been part of his psyche since watching it as a youth.

Memories coincided with the last great era of Australian success in the late-1990s and early-2000s.

"Aussie would always snatch it right at the end - Toutai Kefu scored a try under the posts in one game, John Eales' penalty in Wellington.

"There was the 2000 game at the Olympic Stadium where Jonah [Lomu] scored off Taine Randall's little pop over the top, I've watched that heaps of times, an amazing game."

Read said it was 'awesome' to have held the Bledisloe Cup throughout his career.

"The Cup became a really important piece of silverware for us. It was motivating in itself [something] you don't see in other [Tests]. A lot of the other teams have a cup, but it's not with the history that the Bledisloe has over close to 100 years."

Every time an Australian team was named to contest the Cup, they had so many good players they had to be respected because the All Blacks knew what they could do.

"Sometimes the puzzling thing was they didn't often put it out on the field when we played them. But you prepared like they were going to put out their best game which, when they did, they beat us a few times, and that respect of knowing what could be coming our way really drove us."

Among those less memorable occasions was the heavy loss in Perth in 2019 when going down 26-47.

But the one that probably hurt more was in 2012. It was Keven Mealamu's 100th Test, and they were unable to mark it with a win when drawing 18-18 in Brisbane.

"Among the wins was the 2011 World Cup semifinal. That win was pretty cool because we had been tipped up by them in Brisbane a handful of weeks before. The scoreboard didn't show it, but we just absolutely dominated them. It was a really, really cool game to be part of."

It was also a rare occasion when the players could sense the crowd was with them all the way.

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