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'OK, our execution wasn't great' - Steve Hansen defends All Blacks after unconvincing win

Georgia put it up to the world champions last night.

New Zeland coach Steve Hansen.
New Zeland coach Steve Hansen.

NEW ZEALAND COACH Steve Hansen was forced to defend his team’s performance despite beating Georgia 43-10 in their World Cup Pool C game in Cardiff.

The All Blacks scored seven tries at the Millennium Stadium but produced an under-par showing for long periods of the game against Milton Haig’s men.

However, after securing top spot and a place in the quarter-finals with a bonus-point win, Hansen insists his side are continuing to improve through the tournament.

“Our initial aim was to qualify for the quarter-finals and along the way, you try to work on your game. That’s the attitude we have taken,” he said.

“OK, our execution wasn’t great, but we have plenty of talent in the squad and the aspects of our game that we were working on, were pretty good.

“I have said all along, you don’t get any gold medals for winning these games. However, we are in the quarter-finals which is exciting.”

Source: World Rugby/YouTube

A Julian Savea hat-trick and tries from Waisake Naholo, Dane Coles, Kieran Read and Malakai Fekitoa helped the All Blacks to their win, but they were only 22-10 up at half-time.

Hansen found the test against Georgia, who beat Tonga in their tournament opener, valuable.

“It’s good to be put under that pressure when you are problem-solving and that’s what happened tonight,” he said.

“It would be great if we were winning by more points, but it’s not that important.”

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