Rugby Championship

Hansen delighted with 'pretty good performance'

2017-09-16 19:42
Steve Hansen (Getty)

Cape Town - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen couldn't hide his delight after his side managed to keep the Springboks scoreless in their 57-0 win in Albany on Saturday. 

The All Blacks outscored their visitors eight tries to none and Hansen praised his charges' all-round display. 

"We started a bit jittery," he said after the match. 

"But once we got into the rhythm of the game I thought we played probably as good as we have played for a long time. 

"It's about preparing bone deep for Test matches and we've done that this week and seen a pretty good performance. I think the South Africans forced that out of us because we have a massive amount of respect for them." 

Hansen paid tribute to All Blacks defence coach who was involved in his final home Test with the world champions. 

"He's sitting in there happy as a wee sandboy with a smile on his face as wide as the Grand Canyon," he said. 

"He prides himself on it and when the team does stuff like that he's happy. He takes it very personally when people score against us. 

"His story is a lot bigger than just tonight. He's been a wonderful servant to New Zealand rugby and for him to go out at home tonight the way he's gone, it's only fitting because he's been a great coach." 

Hansen also singled out his young back three for special praise after they combined brilliantly on attack. 

"They started off a little nervously, but as the game went on they grew and grew," he added.

"I thought Rieko [Ioane] was outstanding, Nehe [Milner-Skudder] took the opportunities given to him and Damian [McKenzie] was a busy wee fella at the back. 

"You just don't know what's going to happen when he gets the ball. He dropped a high ball and a pass early, but grabbed his composure and that's a really good sign from a young player starting to understand what test rugby is all about."

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