Rugby World Cup 2019: Steve Hansen pleased with All Blacks' response in Wallabies drubbing

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is delighted with how his team responded to last week's record defeat to the Wallabies, bouncing back with a 36-0 drubbing at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

After losing 47-26 in Perth seven days ago the All Blacks had to win, and they responded with their best performance of the season, running in five tries and holding the Wallabies scoreless for the 22nd time in their history. 

Following the defeat at Optus Stadium, Hansen was scrutinised after three lacklustre performances, but he silenced the doubters as the Bledisloe Cup was locked away for a 17th straight year.

What made the occasion more special was the fact it was Hansen's 100th test as All Blacks head coach, and he was delighted to have completed his final Bledisloe Cup campaign with the silverware.

"It's a nice feeling to be able to say 'not on my watch'," said Hansen, who is standing down as All Blacks coach after the Rugby World Cup.

"We had to respond to a performance last week that we would all say wasn't good enough from our point of view and an exceptional one from Australia," he said. "It's a long time in sport, seven days, and I'm very proud of them.

"We got towelled up last week, and I'm sure no All Black side has ever enjoyed that experience. What we couldn't tell was where Australia was. But they are two special squads, and both are going to the World Cup with an opportunity to win it."

Hansen made a bold call heading into the test by dropping experienced trio Owen Franks, Rieko Ioane and Ben Smith, in favour of Nepo Laulala, George Bridge and Sevu Reece respectively. 

Prop Laulala was strong at the scrum, while wingers Bridge and Reece both scored tries in the win in front of 48,000 fans. 

Hansen praised the effort from both Bridge and Reece, who both impressed on attack and defence. 

"You don't put people in your team if you don't expect them to be able to play like you think they will," Hansen said.

"We said during the week that we've seen enough of them to be able to cope [with] being an All Black, and what a wonderful opportunity to see if they can cope with the pressure of such a big occasion.

"I think everybody saw what happened, they both played very well."

First-five Richie Mo'unga left the field with a shoulder injury but it's not serious, according to Hansen.

The All Blacks will name their 31-man World Cup squad later this month. 

They have one more test against Tonga in Hamilton on September 7, before flying to Japan where they'll look to win the William Webb Ellis trophy for the third consecutive time. 


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