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Set piece dominance pleases Hansen

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Sportal.co.nz     25 Aug 2013     Getty Images

The most important thing was the Cup was in the trophy cabinet for another year and if it wasn't the prettiest of wins then he was not making any apologies.

"It was not our prettiest Test match but it was good enough but we will take that particularly when we win the big Cup at the end of it," he said.

The difference over the first Test win, by a superior margin in Sydney, was that the All Blacks had dominated with their set play.

"We put them under a lot of pressure at scrum time throughout most of the game, and even in the lineout we started to dominate them on their throw.

"But the biggest factor [about the win] was our ability to make the most of our opportunities. You've got to take the points when they are there in the big games," Hansen said.

Australia had created opportunities but apart from their intercept try to wing Israel Folau they didn't get reward.

The Australians had turned up exactly as the All Blacks expected them to and for long periods of the game had won 'the moments'. But he was proud at the way New Zealand stuck to their task and came through on top.

The scrum would have been especially satisfying for Test centurion prop Tony Woodcock, Hansen said.

"He didn't want a lot of fuss but I think he thoroughly deserves it now. I think it is no mean feat to play one game for the All Blacks let alone 100.

"He's done it with a lot of class for a long time and I thought we saw him at his best again tonight," he said.

And Woodcock said the scrum had been much better than in the first Test. At crucial times in the second half the All Blacks destroyed the Australian scrum.

"We scrummaged better as a unit and got some rewards and that was pleasing," Woodcock said.

He added that several years ago Hansen had said to him if he did things right he would be a 100-Test All Black and I didn't believe him.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, himself a member of the Test 100 Club, said Woodcock's feat had been a huge effort. But he was the sort of player he could rely on because every time he turned up it did his job every time.

"When he's packing down you know the scrum is going to go pretty good. The excitement of being in the All Blacks still means comes through, he loves being here and it rubs off everyone," he said.

Hansen said debutant Tom Taylor had been outstanding, especially under the circumstances in which he came into the team.

"Everyone knows he's the No.4 choice. He comes with a lot of pressure because he's the son of an All Black so I thought he coped tremendously well.

"All week Ian [Foster, assistant coach] did a magnificent job with him and nursed him along quietly and had him ready to play on Thursday and he came out tonight and was the confident, mature young player that we thought he would be. He kicked well again, he was assured in everything he did and you can't ask more than that of a player making his debut," he said.

McCaw said the All Blacks knew Australia would be more effective at the breakdown and they had been more effective at disrupting New Zealand's ball.

"At times it felt like we were getting taken out but I don't think we were as smart at protecting our 9 [halfback], especially in the first 30 minutes.

"They brought an intensity that we expected but which we didn't match for the first period of the game anyway," he said.

Hansen said he was pleased with the way flanker Steven Luatua had advanced in his second starting Test match.

"It was pleasing. There was less walking this week and he has got used to that intensity and that speed of the game and he made some nice carries as well which he did last week but it was just a continuation of what we had last week and I think even better.

"He looked more assured, he looked more comfortable being out there wearing that jersey. It's been a good start for him and he should be pretty proud of himself," he said.