Rugby-Everything was good, says satisfie

June 19 [Wed], 2013, 21:29
By Greg Stutchbury

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, June 15 (Reuters) - New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was happy his side had heeded his demands to improve the execution of their game plan for the second test against France after a comprehensive 30-0 victory at Rugby League Park on Saturday.

The All Blacks had appeared rusty in their 23-13 win last week at Eden Park but in Christchurch they were tactically astute, took virtually every scoring opportunity and produced a bruising defensive line.

It was the first time in the 53 tests the two sides have played since 1906 that France have been kept scoreless by the All Blacks.

The victory also ensured New Zealand retained the Dave Gallaher Cup, named after the All Blacks' first captain who died at Passchendaele during the First World War, before the final test in New Plymouth next week.

"We got our game right," Hansen told reporters after the All Blacks scored three tries through Julian Savea, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett. Aaron Cruden slotted 15 points with the boot.

"Our kicking game was good. Our chase was good and our defence was just outstanding," the 54-year Hansen added.

"It was a performance that we expected. Getting the time together this week we felt at training we had gone up about nine or 10 cogs.

"The accuracy was there, the sharpness was there. I guess that's just spending time together."

The All Blacks, who scored both tries last week on the counter-attack, showed again on Saturday how dangerous they can be with the moves for the tries by Smith and Barrett both starting from deep inside their own territory.

Smith's was particularly pleasing for captain Kieran Read, as the side had spent about five minutes camped on their own line repelling waves of French attacks before Sam Cane charged down an attempted drop goal and New Zealand swept up the field.

"The defence really shows the character of a side and the willingness to put the body on the line for each other and we really stuck at it," said Read who celebrated his first test on his home ground as captain by also bringing up his 50th cap.

"Really great effort. It's awesome to put in that effort and get the rewards in the end."

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre, who had expected his side to improve after a combative performance last week, was pragmatic.

"The All Blacks were very clinical," he said.

"New Zealand were much better than us. You can't give too many opportunities to a fantastic New Zealand side (and their) defence was amazing."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)