All Blacks will continue to build - Hansen

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    25 Nov 2018     Getty Images

Coach Steve Hansen said he was proud of the effort in putting 10 tries on Italy but the developing game plan was an on-going process and they would continue to work on it during the summer and Super Rugby season and would use their four Test matches before the Rugby World Cup to get it sorted.


"I'm really proud of the boys. It's been a tough end of year tour, we've played some difficult opposition, we didn't get the result we wanted in Dublin but bounced back and put a performance in that not only they could be proud of but the management and the whole of New Zealand can be proud of," he told Sky Sports.

"Jordie Barrett scored four tries on the wing, one of them was a real beauty on the far side, a kick from his brother. Damian McKenzie scored three and I was very happy with the way Vaea [Fifita] went at six, I thought he had a real physical presence so there were a number of guys who put their hand up," he said.

Hansen said he wouldn't say the season had been difficult or challenging but there had been constant pressure. The team didn't lose too many games but when they did people reacted to that and you came to understand that.

"I don't like losing them either so I don't think that makes it a difficult year what it does mean is that more people are talking about it, they want us to win and we do too.

"I'm proud of them. They've come out after a difficult week and played well tonight. We'll go home, there's a few things to work on," he said.

Captain Kieran Read said it hadn't been difficult to prepare for the Test with all the attendant motivation when coming off a loss.

The side had prepared very well and that was reflected in the performance. They stuck at it and hadn't eased off during the whole 80 minutes.
"It did get a bit scrappy as it does on these occasions but the effort was there from the first to the 80th minute," he said.

While they didn't get the desired result against Ireland, it wasn't a case of panicking and the players had wanted to finish well and they had achieved that in Rome.

Read explained his decision to lead the haka. He felt it was a great opportunity to connect with things that had happened previously at the stadium, most notably the gold medal rush within the hour as Peter Snell and Murray Halberg took wins at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games and to New Zealanders who had performed great deeds in Italy as well.

The season ahead was an exciting one, he said, and a World Cup year was an opportunity, just like it was for all the other sides but it would be a fresh start for the All Blacks who would be back after enjoying their break and there was no lack of motivation preparing for the 2019 season.

Speaking for the Italian team, Dean Budd, said the game had been 12 months in the making for the side but the quick ball won by the All Blacks had been the difference.

"We couldn't slow it down at the breakdowns and you could see it through phases like that, they just need a one-man overlap and they've got the skills to finish things off. The ball was too fast and we couldn't keep up," he said.

Four-try scorer Jordie Barrett said while he had trained a lot on the wing he hadn't played there and he had just been waiting for his opportunity over the last two months and he had enjoyed being on the end of the line.

The forwards had done their bit to win ball while the midfield backs had provided him with his chances.

There had been good energy within the side, especially after the loss to Ireland and balanced with players who hadn't played for a few weeks there had been plenty to play for in the game," he said.