Hansen: All Blacks can improve
Sun, 26 Aug 2012 6:40p.m.
By Jim Kayes
The All Blacks-Wallabies match last night was the first time in 50 years the Wallabies have failed to score any points against the All Blacks, and Robbie Deans' 14th loss to the side he once coached.
While his time with the Wallabies must be nearing an end, life for the All Blacks is just getting better.
Seldom has retaining the Bledisloe Cup been so straight forward, so convincing.
“We went up two or three gears from where we were last week,” says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.
“We were a bit rusty,” says All Blacks captain Richie McCaw. “We had to put a lot of hard work in after last week, but proud of the way the guys went about their work all week and got the job done tonight.”
“We obviously got taught a lesson,” says Wallabies player Will Genia. “We got touched up and it was hard to stick with them.”
Yet the All Blacks think they've still got room to improve.
“We're probably about half-an-inch away from actually really putting in a performance that would have made us really, really proud, but I think we can be proud enough of the one we did put in,” says Hansen.
An ever-better All Blacks-side must be a horrifying thought for Wallaby coach Robbie Deans.
“I don't think there's any side in the world that would have footed it with them tonight,” says Deans. “…including ourselves obviously.
“They're a side that's relentless, fit, so well-conditioned, and it doesn't matter which channel you go down, they're at you. To give credit to our group, I thought it was remarkable that we only actually leaked one try.”
“Against a lesser defending side, we could have scored 50 or 60 points tonight,” says Hansen.
The loss was Deans' 14th in 17 Tests against the All Blacks.
Deans knows his critics are lining up.
“No doubt – it's the nature of the industry,” says Deans. “We're not the number one side in the world. It's pretty evident who is.”
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