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Hansen explains why the All Blacks fell off in the second half of Bledisloe

By Christopher Devine
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen

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Steve Hansen felt his New Zealand side were “seduced by the scoreboard” after producing a sensational performance for 50 minutes in a 54-34 triumph over Australia in their Rugby Championship opener.


The All Blacks were at their brilliant best – against an utterly abject Wallabies outfit – as they ran in six first-half tries and two more early in the second period to open up a scarcely believable 54-6 lead in Sydney.

However, things were very different in the final half-hour, Australia restoring a measure of pride with four tries of their own as New Zealand’s level dipped.

“The first 50 minutes is probably as good a rugby [performance] as you’ll see. And the last 30 was probably some of the ugliest rugby,” said a smiling Hansen in his post-match news conference.

“I think we probably got a little seduced by the scoreboard and went away from the fundamentals of what we wanted to do. But that first 50 minutes was pretty special.”

Asked how frustrating it was to see his side’s lead cut so significantly, Hansen added: “We were all frustrated, because we’ve come to expect a lot from these men and some of what we got in the last 30 minutes wasn’t where we want it to be.

“We just didn’t arrest the error rate. It will give us something to really focus in on when we go to Dunedin [for next weekend’s second Bledisloe Cup match] and it won’t do us any harm.”


Both Hansen and skipper Kieran Read were understandably delighted with New Zealand’s initial dominance.

“Any time you can put that number of points and score tries like that against any international team, it feels pretty good,” said Read.

“We’ve got some talented players and if we can give them go-forward ball and look after the ball when we go into contact, things come off and the talent really shines.”


All Blacks head coach Hansen expects prop Wyatt Crockett to miss next weekend’s match after he suffered a head knock on Saturday.

“Crocky’s obviously got a concussion worry, so we’ll have to see how he goes in testing. But it’s probably pretty fair to say we’ll follow the same protocol we do when anyone gets a head knock like that. We won’t make him available this week, regardless,” explained Hansen.


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