Rugby Championship

Hansen: We showed courage to down Boks

2015-07-26 16:00
Steve Hansen (AFP)

Johannesburg - New Zealand replaced their regular brand of flair rugby for a grittier version as the world champions rallied for a 27-20 Rugby Championship victory over South Africa on Saturday.

Trailing for most of the match, the All Blacks withstood enormous pressure from the home side before a late piece of Richie McCaw lineout magic edged them ahead and they were able to close out the contest.

Coach Steve Hansen admitted New Zealand were not quite at their best but was delighted with the courage shown by his team to stay in touch when the going got tough.

"It was 10-all at half-time and it probably shouldn't have been," Hansen told reporters. "It should have been way more than that but that's sport, if you don't take the opportunities you are given then you are likely to get a bite on the bum."

Hansen believes the turning point of the game came in the final 15 minutes when, trailing 20-17, New Zealand withstood a goal-line battering by the Springboks.

"It seemed like five minutes but was probably only a couple of minutes on our own goal-line," Hansen added.

"We defended our hearts out and showed a lot of courage. If they had scored then I think it would have been very difficult to come back but we showed the mental fortitude and the physical ability to keep getting up and making tackles."

Hansen said the display was far from vintage but he could not be prouder of the effort.

"We looked pretty sluggish at times but there was no lack of desire. We defended our goal-line like our life depended on it and to a man we stood up."

With the All Blacks on a semi-finals collision course with the Springboks at the World Cup in England later in the year, Hansen remains wary of the threat posed by South Africa.

"They are developing a style of game that's going to be difficult to combat, they have some very exciting young backs and have a lot of pace in their backline," he said.

"They have also got some brutal forwards, so they should be pretty happy.

"They are the number two team in the rankings and as we saw there is nothing between the first and the second team."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Is Allister Coetzee the right man to coach the Springboks?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.