Hansen: The right team won
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has copped yesterday’s streak- ending defeat against Ireland on the chin. Speaking immediately after Ireland’s historic 40-29 victory at Chicago’s soldier field, Hansen said: “The right side won. The Irish played very well and congratulations to them. When you see their fans going like they are now, it’s about time they won one anyway.” Hansen agreed that the All Blacks being without their top three locks in Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano had impacted on the team’s performance. “But we don’t want to use that as an excuse,” he quickly added. “We trained well enough, we prepared well enough, we thought, but clearly we didn’t get a few things right. They put us under pressure and deserved to win. We’re not going to make any excuses about not having the right people.” Hansen claimed he wasn’t surprised by Ireland’s quick start, nor their tenacity in hanging on to deny the fast-finishing All Blacks.
“They couldn’t surprise us - the last time we played them we beat them in the 82nd minute - we’d be very foolish not to think they aren’t a very good side,” he said. “When you get a good side against another good side you’re going to get results like we did tonight.
“In the first half they had all the momentum didn’t they. We talked before the game of not giving away avoidable penalties, but because of the pressure we did. They built momentum and then we were chasing them.” Hansen agreed the All Blacks now had much to do on the remainder of their northern tour. Planet Rugby
Ireland reps Simon Zebo (left), and Johnny Sexton celebrate after their win.