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Italy Test chance to make amends: Crockett

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/11/2016 Angelo Risso
Wyatt Crockett © PA Wyatt Crockett

If there was ever a silver lining to Saturday's record-ending defeat to Ireland, All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett says it is that they have a chance to put things right quickly.

The world champions touched down in Rome on Monday afternoon, as they gear up for their second northern tour Test against the Italians this weekend.

However the side will do so knowing their shot at a second-ever perfect Test season has been squandered, after going down 40-29 to an impressive Irish outfit in Chicago.

Crockett, 33, watched the Soldier Field match from the stands and admitted to feeling helpless as his side conceded 40 points for the first time in 12 years.

However the Crusaders frontrower was glad the squad could put the performance behind them and focus on ending the tour with three wins.

"The good thing about it being at the start of the tour is that you get a chance to play again next week," Crockett said.

"If you lose at the end of the season, you think about it for the next few months."

Crockett has plenty of history with Gli Azzurri, having made his 2009 debut against them in Christchurch and starting in his side's 20-6 win in Milan later that year.

He also emerged from the bench in their most recent visit to the Eternal City, a 42-10 thrashing in 2012.

Crockett said the Milan clash, just his third Test appearance, served as a steep learning curve against rugged Italian tighthead Martin Castrogiovanni.

"It was a tough old night at the office," the 55-cap Crockett said.

"The scrum didn't go well and I got penalised a few times."

The Kiwis arrived in Italy on Monday to the news that hooker Dane Coles and first five-eighth Beauden Barrett had been nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year.

Crockett said his frontrow partner, who skippers the Hurricanes, had produced the goods from the second he was given a chance in the black jumper in 2012.

"He was really ready to go and I guess there's obviously a bit more experience and confidence to play his natural game, which you see now," Crockett said.

Italy have never beaten the All Blacks, losing all 13 of their clashes since 1979.

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