Rugby Union 2 years ago

Hansen hails classy All Blacks

  • Hansen hails classy All Blacks

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has expressed his deep satisfaction at guiding the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup triumphs but stopped short at calling his side the greatest ever.

Hansen became the third New Zealander to mastermind a successful World Cup campaign after Sir Brian Lochore in 1987 and Graham Henry in 2011 with a 34-17 win over Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

"Whether they are the greatest team of all time that is for others to decide," Hansen said.

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"But I can say this team is not about one player it's about 23 guys and they have all been fantastic over the last six weeks."

Hansen replaced Henry at the helm following the emotion-charged 8-7 win over France at Eden Park four years ago and said the key to winning in 2015 was putting that drought-breaking triumph quickly behind them.

It saw them team raise the bar again from 2012 with a record-equalling 17 straight wins that included victory in every Test match played in 2013.

"It's massively satisfying, we set out four years to do something special and had to put a full stop on what happened in 2011 in 2012," Hansen said.

"We had to rebuild the team so we could come here in 2015 with the right experience but also with some young players who had experience.

"The pleasing thing is that we have a massive group of players that have between 20 and 40 Test matches that can take this team forward once the other guys decide to move on."

Hansen was also full of praise for the Australia's performance and admitted Michael Cheika's side had his side concerned as they staged a second half fightback.

"On a night like this it's extremely tough for the loser but I thought Australia were magnificent in the way they approached the game, they never laid down," he said.

"At 21-3, you could be fooled into thinking the game was over but at 21-17 they could easily have come back.

"Whilst we are very proud of what we have achieved as a group we would like to say well done to Australia as well."

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