Rugby Championship

Hansen: Eddie Jones is no 'rocket scientist'

2016-09-15 11:16
Steve Hansen (Getty Images)

Christchurch - New Zealand coach Steve Hansen brushed off criticism from Eddie Jones on Thursday, saying the England boss was no "rocket scientist" for pointing out the All Blacks have flaws and denying his country exerts undue control over the sport.

Hansen was speaking after the outspoken Jones, known for his mind games, said the world champions have "flaws and significant weaknesses" which England intend to exploit when they next clash in 2018.

"Eddie's got to make sure we know he's out there and in this case he's right, we do have flaws," Hansen said ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship Test against South Africa.

"But every team has flaws. He's not being a rocket scientist saying that. The key thing is recognising you have them and making sure you work away quietly and fix them."

Hansen has the All Blacks on a 14-match winning streak, unbeaten in 43 home Tests stretching back to 2009. The team have only lost three of their last 67 internationals.

He agreed that New Zealand controlled teams around the world as the coaches of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Japan were all New Zealanders, as was a recent coach of Australia.

But he drew the line at Jones's comment to British media that New Zealand "control every bit of rugby. Every law that's changed".

"I think he might be pushing the envelope a little bit when he says we actually control what the laws are but I don't think we'll lose any sleep over it," said Hansen.

Hansen also took exception to suggestions from a journalist that the All Blacks were so far ahead of their rivals that it was making their games boring.

In this year's Rugby Championship, the All Blacks beat Australia 42-8 and 29-9 before swamping Argentina 57-22 last week.

"If they think it's boring that we're winning we'll lose one and they won't like that so much," he said, adding that the All Blacks philosophy was to try to improve every game.

"That's why we fight complacency all the time because we don't want to have to hurt, losing hurts.

"It's about going out and performing to the best of your ability and when you've got the ability that these guys have got, then winning a lot is a by-product of that. But if you don't prepare well then you don't give yourself a chance to win."

Since Hansen took over as head coach after the All Blacks won the 2011 World Cup, they have played 60 Tests for a 91.7 percent success rate, winning 55, drawing two and losing three.


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