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All Blacks fill Hansen with pride

Steve Hansen

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen is keen to revel in a crushing Bledisloe Cup victory over Australia before turning his focus to the World Cup.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen is keen to revel in a crushing Bledisloe Cup victory over Australia before turning his focus to the World Cup.

The All Blacks were beaten 27-19 by the Wallabies last weekend to surrender their three-year hold on the Rugby Championship.

However they bounced back at Eden Park – where the British & Irish Lions will play two tests in 2017 – with a 41-13 thrashing that saw Hansen’s side retain the Bledisloe Cup and get their World Cup preparations back on track.

The clash was also Richie McCaw’s 142nd test appearance – making him the most capped international of all time – and perhaps his final game for the All Blacks on home soil.

“It’s a special occasion – Richie’s 142nd test and the performance,” said Hansen. We’ll worry about the World Cup after tonight.

“It’s a performance the whole country can be proud of and within the team we are definitely proud of it.

“That’s more like what we expect from our group and it just goes to show that we were well off the pace last week.”

Ma’a Nonu grabbed a pair of tries in Auckland, while Dane Coles and Conrad Smith also crossed over and the All Blacks were awarded a penalty try – Israel Folau with the Wallabies’ only score.

Dan Carter – also making what could be his final appearance for New Zealand on home soil – converted all five and added two penalties.

But it was not just from the tee that the veteran fly-half enjoyed a productive evening, bouncing back from a disappointing display last weekend as the All Blacks’ creative spark.

“He answered a few critics,” added Hansen. “A few people were lining up and having a free shot at him after what was deemed to be a poor performance.

“Tonight he got it going forward and he showed us what he’s capable of.”

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