Hansen expects lift in standard
August 18, 2012
Cory Jane scored one of New Zealand's two tries © PA Photos
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is expecting a big lift in performance from both sides when they tackle Australia in Auckland next weekend.
The All Blacks got their Rugby Championship campaign underway with a 27-19 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday, although both sides looked a little rusty compared to their best.
New Zealand's defence held up well however and with tries from Israel Dagg and Cory Jane, they were able to pull through for an important first-up victory.
"It's probably not the most perfect game in the world but when you get two sides coming off the breaks we've had, playing at the intensity we're playing, there's going to be errors," Hansen told Reuters. "Both sides will be better for the experience and next week I think will be a real ripper of a game."
New Zealand also created a number of opportunities - to Jane and Hosea Gear, among others - but were unable to find the final touch, something that Hansen expects to change at Eden Park.
"There were a couple of opportunities, Australia had a couple too, and the reason you're not taking them is you're a bit rusty," Hansen said. "CJ [Jane] wouldn't drop too many offloads like he had from Sonny [Bill Williams]. It's about playing together and having that time together. We came off a seven-day preparation and sometimes you need more time than that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape