All Blacks coach Steve Hansen watches over a training session. Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

CAPE TOWN - All Black coach Steve Hansen says they know they won a Test match after the fight the Springboks put up at Newlands on Saturday.

The Boks narrowly missed out on victory when they went down 24-25 to the New Zealanders in Cape Town, and Hansen, who was clearly impressed by the Boks’ efforts, said that the match “could have gone either way”.

“You want a contest, tonight we know we won a Test match, both teams played really well. The game could have gone either way. So winning these kind of games is probably more satisfying,” Hansen said.

“South Africa will be very proud of their performance, and their fans will be too. They never disappoint us, they always turn up when we play them here.”

Hansen also said the Boks again proved that the 57-0 drubbing they suffered to his team wasn’t a true reflection of a Springbok team that “grew in self-belief”.

“We told everybody that wanted to listen that the score in Albany - although it was ridiculous - wasn’t a true reflection of how the game went. In that game we took every opportunity, and tonight we didn’t," he said.

“The Boks grew in self-belief. Belief is such a big thing in sport - if you believe in yourself, you build confidence, and confidence gives you about another 10 percent.”

And when asked which win felt better - the Albany slaughter or the narrow win in Cape Town - Hansen said: “I just get pleasure out of every win - it doesn’t matter how we do it, as long as we do it.

“We saw that we have to be in the right mind set when we play them, otherwise we’re vulnerable. And it’s the same with any team.”

Cape Argus

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