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Hansen happy with ‘ugly’ All Blacks win

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admits it was ugly at times but says the 23-13 first Test win over France has given the side a foundation for the rest of the series.

 
 

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All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admits it was ugly at times but says the 23-13 first Test win over France has given the side a foundation for the rest of the series.

New Zealand outscored the tourists two tries to one in Auckland on Saturday night, but they were made to fight for the victory in a physical encounter.

There was plenty of attacking intent from both sides, but mistakes and lack of fluency also made for a stop-start affair.

“We’re really happy with the win against the quality of opposition,” Hansen said.

“Obviously we’re not happy with the performance to the point where we know that it was ugly at times, but we also know that it’s the first game of the season.”

Hansen said the All Blacks were working on introducing new things into their game, and that was always going to create potential for mistakes.

But he was confident they would come up with a better display when the three-Test series moves to Christchurch next Saturday.

“This game has given us a good marker,” he said.

“We’ve got the win and we’ve got a whole lot of information that we can go away and digest and improve our game on.”

French coach Philippe Saint-Andre was disappointed with the defeat and believed the 10-point margin didn’t really reflect what happened on the pitch.

“We were in the game for 80 minutes,” he said.

“We broke them quite a lot, maybe seven times, and we didn’t finish enough. In a high-level game, it’s small details.”

But Saint-Andre also rued the mistakes that his side made.

He cited lost balls in contact, a crucial turnover that led to an All Black try and a set piece that didn’t work as well as he had expected.

 
 

 
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