We shouldn't have won – Hansen
Sun, 17 Jun 2012 6:38p.m.
By Jim Kayes
With more heartache for Ireland, it was a relieved All Blacks-side that travelled to Hamilton today ahead of next Saturday’s third Test.
It was the great escape, and even the All Blacks thought they were lucky to win.
“Look it's a game,” says coach Steve Hansen. “We probably shouldn't have won.
“We certainly didn't play as well as we would have liked, but we showed some character, some really special character, I thought, to hang in, to win the game with a drop-goal.”
It secured the three-Test series, but Ireland still have plenty to play for in Hamilton next Saturday.
“It would be a huge disappointment if we weren't able to improve on today's performance next week, because you want to sign off your season on as much of a high as you possibly can,” says Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll. “We'll chase that elusive victory as hard as we possibly can.”
As well as Ireland played, the All Blacks were off the pace and their scrum was poor.
And that wasn't all that went wrong.
“Clearly we made too many errors and the ones that frustrated us the most were the silly penalties,” says Hansen. “You don't mind if the penalties are warranted, but when they're stupid penalties that you do yourself obviously that's frustrating.”
Top of that list would be Ali Williams getting marched, and Israel Dagg's late hit on fellow fullback Rob Kearney.
“I didn't mean to do anything bad,” says Dagg. “I just jumped up. The ref saw it the way he saw it. He made the decision and I just have to move on.”
They did, but only just, and now the All Blacks are waiting to see how flanker Adam Thomson is after re-breaking his nose, and number eight Kieran Read recovers after a second head knock.
It meant an early debut for Sam Cane.
“It was a real ding-dong battle, but I love that sort of match where every little inch counts, and to see that ball fly over the sticks right at the end, that was awesome,” says All Blacks flanker Sam Cane.
It was awesome and, for the All Blacks, a huge relief.
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