The scoreline may not have been as emphatic as it was in their first Rugby Championship clash of the season, but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is just as impressed with his side’s performance in their 29-9 victory over Australia on Saturday.
Hansen’s side beat the Wallabies 42-8 last week.
On Saturday, however, they faced a much more combative, and niggly Wallabies side but still did more than enough to blunt the Australian attack at Wellington Regional Stadium and create opportunities to score four tries.
Hansen explains: “On the scoreboard it looks like we’ve done it pretty easy, but I don’t think anyone would say it was easy out there.
“The skill level of our guys was really good… under extreme pressure at times, and at the moment that’s probably where we’ve got a little bit of an edge.”
The All Blacks attack has been to the fore in the two games against the Wallabies, scoring 10 tries, but of equal importance has been their defence, when they have gang-tackled ball runners and knocked them back behind the advantage line.
The pressure they exerted at the set piece also disrupted the Wallabies’ attacking game and while the All Blacks didn’t run wild, Hansen believes the |different approach they had in the match, will help them in the future.
He adds: “They’ve been through it now and they know what it feels like, and they know that if they concentrate on what we have to do, then we’ll come out the other side of it okay.
“So there’ll be a bit of trust and self-belief to come from it, as well.
“It was an ideal game for us.”