Hansen fears a Wallaby backlash

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen insists his side will not be underestimating their opponents Australia ahead of their Bledisloe Cup clash in Brisbane this weekend. [more]

Steve Hansen

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen insists his side will not be underestimating their opponents Australia ahead of their Bledisloe Cup clash in Brisbane this weekend.

The Wallabies have had a fraught week of build up with playmaker Kurtley Beale suspended pending an investigation into an off-field matter and head coach Ewen McKenzie under real pressure.

The All Blacks – who host the British & Irish Lions in 2017 – have a settled side, despite seeing their 22-match winning streak come to an end last time out against South Africa, so much so that Aaron Cruden is left out of the matchday 23.

And while Australia have had some sizeable distractions in the build-up to the clash, Hansen insists their trans-Tasman rivals will still take some stopping.

“The week the Wallabies have had will make them really, really, dangerous,” Hansen said.

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“They have their backs against the wall and they have nowhere to go but come out and show their fans, the public and themselves and I actually don’t think it is a question that they are good rugby players.

“I see them as being a very dangerous beast this week. They will either unite as a group and player really well or crumble under the pressure and I don’t see them crumbling.

“We have taken no notice of the media talk. All we know is they are copping it and that will make them stronger. If their hunger is at ten then ours has to be at a ten.

“You don’t want rugby teams anywhere in the world to be under that sort of pressure because it is not good for rugby.

“We need Australia to be firing on all cylinders because when it is really competitive it is only making us better.”
 

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