Auckland - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was quietly satisfied with his side's 51-20 thrashing of Australia to retain the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday but felt they could have played even better.
The world champions ran in six tries, two to captain Richie McCaw, with an intense performance of controlled fury borne out of the frustration of a poor outing last week in their 12-12 draw with the Wallabies in Sydney.
The score was the highest New Zealand had achieved against Australia in 151 test matches, eclipsing the 50-21 victory they achieved in Sydney in 2003, which helped the All Blacks reclaim the Bledisloe Cup - a trophy they have not relinquished since.
Hansen, while pleased with the 'special performance', felt there was still plenty to work on after they return from their week off and begin preparations for their next Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Napier on Sept. 6.
“There were parts of that game that were not great,” Hansen told reporters at Eden Park. “We let in some soft tries, there were a lot of dropped balls and we blew the opportunities to score points.
“We will strive to try and improve that and to work and get better.”
Hansen, who was in a boisterous mood at the post-match media conference, even telling McCaw that his yellow card in the 13th minute for a professional foul was 'dumb', said while there were things to work on he was still proud of the outcome.
“Is it something to be proud of?” he asked rhetorically. “Of course it is. Australia are a very good rugby side.
“They'll bounce back. They just had a bad day at the office.
“We have seen it many times before, we have done it ourselves. Teams bounce back so any time you put 50 points on a good side you have to be proud.”
McCaw, who praised his tight forwards for laying the foundation for the win, was pleased his side had managed to consolidate during his spell in the 'naughty chair' and not concede any points apart from the penalty for his initial indiscretion.
“I was feeling a bit stupid sitting there,” McCaw said with a sheepish grin, as well as agreeing with his coach it had been 'dumb'. “I'm glad we didn't concede too much while I was there.
“I don't know I did that. It was a reflex I wish as soon as I had done that I hadn't.” – Reuters