Steve Hansen praises ruthless All Blacks
August 24, 2013
Conrad Smith once again was quietly clinical and efficient © Getty Images
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has praised his team's ruthlessness in completing a decade of Bledisloe Cup dominance with a decisive 27-16 win over Australia despite operating with considerably less possession.
The All Blacks absorbed a powerful start from the Wallabies to record their 27th successive Test win on home soil, their 15th in succession at home to Australia, suffocating the visitors for much of the second half before Israel Folau scored a long-range intercept try to give his side a glimmer of hope with eight minutes remaining.
"The biggest factor was the ability to make the most of our opportunities," Hansen said.
"When we had opportunities we scored tries. I think we only missed two or three the whole night. Whereas they created opportunities and, other than the intercept, they didn't take them."
Hansen was full of praise for Tom Taylor, who produced an assured debut in the No.10 jumper.
"He was the confident, mature young player that we thought he would be. Everyone knows he's the fourth choice, and he comes with a lot of pressure because he's the son of an All Black [Warwick Taylor]. I thought he coped tremendously well all week."
Hansen conceded the victory "probably wasn't our prettiest Test match", acknowledging the Rugby World Cup 2011 champions had benefited from a 16-8 penalty count in their favour - with the Wallabies frequently frustrated by the rulings of South African referee Jaco Peyper.
"But it was good enough and we'll take that, especially when we win the big prize of the cup."
New Zealand confirmed their trans-Tasman dominance in Wellington (video available only in Australia)
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin