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Cruden's effort wins praise from Hansen

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Sportal.co.nz     25 Nov 2012     Getty Images

The win extended Welsh misery to a 59-year losing streak while leaving New Zealand with the chance to complete an unbeaten 2012 if they can get past England in London next week.

Hansen told SKYSport after the game that there were a few lessons learned by the All Blacks as they failed to build on the dominance they achieved in the first half, allowing Wales in for two tries in the final quarter.

"But I'm very happy with what we have achieved and I thought the first five-eighths [Cruden] was outstanding.

"We did things very clinically and were moved around the field well," he said.

The job ahead of the All Blacks was to keep their feet on the ground, he added.

Cruden kicked 18 points, converting all three of New Zealand's tries and landing four penalty goals.

Cruden said he had been working on settling himself before big games and avoided trying to overplay the game as he had been guilty of in his first appearances in the side.

"I know my role in the team now," he said.

While he looked calm and assured in his flawless goal-kicking display he said he had been a little nervous in that department because he had not kicked well beforehand. However, the occasion had been memorable and the atmosphere 'terrific' in front of 72,000 in the enclosed stadium.

Wales captain Sam Warburton said the New Zealanders were very clinical and you could not afford to concede turnover ball to them.

"We wanted to try something different but we needed to score a try early but they defended very well," he said.

Wales' first try, an all-in lineout drive had been coach Warren Gatland's call that had worked out well.

But having lost all three of their Autumn Tests the job ahead of Wales was to get a win over Australia in their final game next week.

All Blacks captain, and man of the match, Richie McCaw said he was 'pretty happy' with the way the side started.

"We kept the pressure on and didn't give them any chances," he said. "We didn't do anything special, everyone just did their bit."

Towards the end, however, the need to defend the Welsh enthusiasm had taken its toll.

"We, perhaps, ran out of juice a bit through having to defend so much," he said.

Cruden had shown the benefit of being 'in the seat' against Italy the week before and had been seamless in replacing ace five-eighths Dan Carter.

"We need to make sure we get ourselves in the right frame of mind for next week," he said.