Hansen: The right team won

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: leonec@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

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