No need to panic, insists All Blacks coach Hansen | Daily News


No need to panic, insists All Blacks coach Hansen

New Zealand All Blacks Rugby head coach Steve Hansen
New Zealand All Blacks Rugby head coach Steve Hansen

PERTH: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen insisted Sunday there was no need to “push the panic button” after a heavy loss to the Wallabies, as the team refocuses for the return Bledisloe Cup clash in Auckland this week.

The Wallabies ran amok after All Blacks lock Scott Barrett was sent off late in the first half in Perth for their best-ever victory over New Zealand on Saturday, racking up 47 points to their arch rivals’ 26.

The result compounded New Zealand’s scratchy lead-up to their World Cup defence in Japan next month. They scraped past Argentina last month and then drew 16-16 with South Africa, meaning they have failed to win for two consecutive games.

But despite the All Blacks’ underwhelming performances, Hansen is not overly worried.

“I know the scoreboard’s fairly massive -- it’s not often we get that many points scored against us -- but it’s 16-12 and we’re in the game at half-time and then Scotty (Barrett) gets sent off,” he said.

“So it’s a different game and I don’t think we can beat ourselves up over the defence in the second half.

“You’ve got to look at the effort and there was plenty of effort. We just played a side that was very good at finding the space.” Despite downplaying a loss that cost them their Rugby Championship crown, now in the hands of South Africa, New Zealand have plenty to think about with the World Cup just weeks away. They might have gone into half-time still in the game, but it was the Wallabies who dominated possession and territory, playing at a rapid pace that New Zealand struggled to match.

The All Blacks defence gave away too many penalties, drifted offside and were forced to make the bulk of the tackling.

“Our changing room was very disappointed because of how we performed and that is how it should be,” said Hansen.

“We didn’t perform to the standard that we should have and Australia gave us a lesson in what to do when you have a side down by one man. They made it difficult.

Hansen said the team was looking towards next weekend’s Bledisloe Cup decider.

“It’s a big game,” he added about the Auckland match on Saturday.

“We’re just going to go back and we won’t push the panic button. We’ll push the button that says we’re going to win and get our discipline right, get our game structure right and turn up and play well.” AFP 

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