Steve Hansen praises All Blacks' defence in record win over South Africa in Albany

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was delighted with his side's record-breaking 57-0 win over South Africa in Albany on Saturday night.

In their most dominant display this year, the All Blacks ran in eight tries while holding the previously unbeaten Springboks scoreless.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, Hansen admitted after the match it was a lot tougher than the scoreboard suggested. 

"We started a bit jittery. But once we got into the rhythm of the game I thought we played probably as good as we have played for a long time," Hansen told reporters.

"Our defensive work was probably as good as we've ever had it, so that made a big difference.

"I think they're a good side and the scoreboard probably doesn't reflect the margin between the two teams.

"We really targeted set piece, we wanted to really dominate there and Luke came up with a really good defensive plan and the boys executed it well.

"That side of our plan worked."

Hansen paid homage to All Blacks defence coach Wayne Smith, who was involved in his final home Test with the current world champions. 

Keeping the Springboks scoreless was the perfect way to send off the defence guru. 

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith.
All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith. Photo credit: Getty Images

"He's sitting in there happy as a wee sandboy with a smile on his face as wide as the Grand Canyon," Hansen said of Smith.

"He prides himself on it and when the team does stuff like that he's happy. He takes it very personally when people score against us.

"His story is a lot bigger than just tonight. He's been a wonderful servant to New Zealand rugby and for him to go out at home tonight the way he's gone, it's only fitting because he's been a great coach."

Hansen was also full of praise for his young back three.

With an average age of just 23, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie, and Nehe Milner-Skudder made South Africa pay dearly for their numerous mistakes with some excellent counterattacking rugby.

"They started off a little nervously, but as the game went on they grew and grew. I thought Rieko was outstanding, Nehe took the opportunities given to him and Damian was a busy wee fella at the back," said Hansen.