‘ Not per­fect’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

NEW ZEALAND coach Steve Hansen re­fused to get car­ried away after a 57-15 de­mo­li­tion of archri­vals South Africa cre­ated two records and moved the All Blacks within one vic­tory of an­other.

“It was a bet­ter per­for­mance than the last one (win­ning in Ar­gentina),” said the hard-to-please for­mer po­lice­man who mas­ter­minded the 2015 World Cup tri­umph in Eng­land.

“How­ever, it was not a per­fect per­for­mance so we will not get too car­ried away,” was his sum­mary of the nine-try romp at Kings Park Sta­dium in Dur­ban.

“We will en­joy the mo­ment be­cause we man­aged to play some qual­ity rugby and make some peo­ple proud.”

Hansen was speak­ing soon after the All Blacks beat the Spring­boks by a record mar­gin, bet­ter­ing the 52-16 thrash­ing they dished out in Pre­to­ria 13 years ago.

It was also the first time in four Rugby Cham­pi­onship ti­tle-win­ning cam­paigns that New Zealand se­cured a max­i­mum 30 points, which was achieved through six bonus-point tri­umphs.

New Zealand clinched the south­ern hemi­sphere cham­pi­onship after only four rounds, leav­ing South Africa, Aus­tralia and Ar­gentina trail­ing in their wake.

Suc­cess over the Spring­boks, who col­lapsed in the sec­ond half after be­ing only 12-9 be­hind at half-time, also moved the All Blacks within one vic­tory of a world record 18 in a row.

New Zealand pre­vi­ously achieved 17 straight Test vic­to­ries in 1969 and 2014 and South Africa matched the feat in 1998.

Loose for­ward Read, suc­ces­sor this year to re­tired leg­end Richie McCaw as cap­tain, said he felt for some time that his side were ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing a spe­cial per­for­mance.

“To come to South Africa and achieve a vic­tory like that was amaz­ing. We can­not help but be ex­cited by our per­for­mance tonight.”

After host­ing Aus­tralia, the world cham­pi­ons set off on a four-match Novem­ber tour, start­ing with a Test against Ire­land in neu­tral Chicago. – AFP

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