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Hansen explains ball-handling horrors


'While people at home will be wondering why they dropped a few balls, it's very, very difficult' - Hansen explains why All Blacks didn't score in final quarter

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was typically conservative in praise of his side after their crushing 63-0 World Cup win against Canada.

The All Blacks, bidding for a record three successive World Cup crowns, ruthlessly exposed Canada’s shortcomings in Oita to run in eight tries and a penalty try to win 63-0. Although the cue was put away early as the All Blacks failed to convert multiple opportunities in the final 20-minutes that could have put up a cricket score.

“It was a pretty good performance when you break it down, particularly the first part of that second half when they really came together and played good, controlled rugby,” Hanson said in his post-match interview.

“It was really difficult conditions. The humidity is unbelievable and while people at home will be wondering why they dropped a few balls, it’s very, very difficult, so I think they’ve done well.”

The Barrett brothers, Beauden, Jordie and Scott, all touched down on the day they became the first trio of brothers to appear for their country at a World Cup.

Beauden Barrett was cruising towards his second try on the last play of the game before the ball popped loss as he tried to change hands, while brother Scott blew a try by knocking on over the line in the first half.

Beauden explained the situation during his post-match interview.

“The running just happened as if it was in slow motion. It was like I was on a treadmill. I’m glad it was 79th minute and not the first minute or I’d be asking myself some questions. It was pretty exhausting out there,” he said.

He said Scott’s faux pas was ‘pretty funny’ but at the end of the day, you just have to laugh.

“I had a laugh a bit sooner than half-time – pretty much straight away. It was pretty funny. Even my one at the end, you just have to laugh. It was just one of those things – embarrassing but funny.”

“The humidity makes you sweat and the slipperiest ball is a sweat-covered one. That’s why you saw a few errors,” he explained.

After an early penalty try, awarded after skipper Kieran Read had dived over from a five-metre scrum, Jordie Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams and Beauden Barrett all went over in the first half.

Further tries in the second period from Rieko Ioane, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizzell and replacement scrum-half Brad Weber’s brace completed the rout, while imperious fly-half Richie Mo’unga was successful with all eight of his conversion attempts.

Centre Williams was central to most of New Zealand’s attacking flair after being named as one of 11 changes from the opening 23-13 win against South Africa.

“He’s always been pushing,” Hansen said. “We’re very blessed in the midfield with the talent that we’ve got and of course (centre) Ngani (Laumape) is at home still. So we’re very blessed and it’s good to have people in form.”

When asked what his side could improve on, Hansen added: “The first 20 minutes of the second half, we’ve got to turn that into 80 minutes and if we can do that we won’t be too far away.”

Canada head coach Kingsley Jones, whose side lost their opening Pool B match 48-7 to Italy, was full of praise for his players.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” Jones said. “I thought the way they stuck in there, you know we had big chunks of the game where we were really in it.

“They showed true Canadian grit. Every one of them can look in the mirror and be proud of their performance.

“Other times, I’m admiring the All blacks’ accuracy, skill, speed and the bottom line is collisions – the speed and power that they can deliver at times.

“It really causes big problems and after that it’s difficult to deal with and difficult to defend.”

Farrell wants Ireland to learn from England:

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'While people at home will be wondering why they dropped a few balls, it's very, very difficult' - Hansen explains why All Blacks didn't score in final quarter
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