Rugby Championship

Hansen surprised at All Blacks domination

2016-09-17 22:02
Steve Hansen (Gallo)

Christchurch - The ease with which New Zealand wrapped up the 2016 Rugby Championship in record time has even surprised their usually confident coach Steve Hansen.

"To be really honest, no," Hansen admitted when asked if he expected his All Blacks to be so dominant this year after losing several stars, including legends Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, after winning the World Cup 11 months ago.

The All Blacks claimed the Rugby Championship on Saturday with two games to spare after they beat South Africa 41-13 in Christchurch and Australia then denied their nearest rivals Argentina a point with a 36-20 victory in Perth.

The six-try thrashing of the Springboks gave the All Blacks a maximum five points and moved them to 20 after four games while Australia moved into second place but are 11 points behind and cannot over take the New Zealanders.

It is the first time the outcome of the southern hemisphere championship has been known after only four rounds.

Hansen said he knew he had some talented newcomers in his squad this year but was concerned whether they could fill the void created by losing more than 800 caps worth of experience following the World Cup.

"The thing we lost most was experience and the thing I'm most pleased with is how Reado has stepped up to the plate," Hansen said, crediting the leadership of Kieran Read who has replaced McCaw as captain.

"His leadership group have stepped up to the plate and taken over and probably gone to another level."

The All Blacks runaway success this year has been attributed to New Zealand's policy of always grooming understudies, paving the way for a near seamless transition from a World Cup squad to a rebuilding unit.

It is a policy that left new South African coach Allister Coetzee envious as his side has lost their last three games and only won three of seven since making the World Cup semi finals.

New Zealand's transition "has been very, very good, unlike in our case," he said.

Hansen made clear that policy will continue with the championship already wrapped up and he is likely to bring new blood on line for the remaining two games away to Argentina and South Africa with a northern hemisphere tour to follow.

"We're getting to that point in the season where we have to roll the dice anyway," he said after keeping a consistent line up so far this year.

"You can't keep playing the same athletes the whole time and expect to have that same zing.

"We're coming to the end of the season when we go round the world twice in eight weeks and play seven Test matches so we're going to have to use the rest of the squad.

"That will probably start in Argentina and there might be some new faces on the bench and maybe even playing. We have to play it smart."

The All Blacks have not been seriously challenged in the Rugby Championship, scoring 169 points, including 24 tries in their four matches so far.

Argentina, while slipping to the bottom of the ladder, have the second highest points scored tally of 91.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:05
02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand, Buenos Aires 00:10
08 October 2016
South Africa v New Zealand, Durban 17:05
Argentina v Australia, London 20:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The Springboks have two more Rugby Championship matches - against Australia in Pretoria (October 1) and New Zealand in Durban (October 8). How will the Boks fare in those Tests?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

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.