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Love and support helped less than perfect All Blacks

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James Mortimer     29 Dec 2013     Getty Images

The sacrifices of families is something that many of us may not appreciate as our adrenaline spikes as the haka is performed or the All Blacks shrug away the icy hand of defeat in the dying seconds to win one of the great contests.

This is the time of year where the All Blacks soak up their time with loved ones to ensure they are mentally recharged and have the 'support batteries' filled up for a big 2014 rugby campaign.

The All Blacks, as good as they are, are nothing without a support team that Hansen was quick to applaud.

He acknowledged that when winning New Zealand Rugby’s coach of the year award, saying that he may receive the plaudits, but he dedicated the trophy to those who helped him operate the number one rugby side in the world.

“You pick up the award but you’re picking it up on behalf of all the people,” he said.

“Everyone has to do their job and do it well, and we are fortunate that those guys have done that.

“A lot of people have worked hard.

“Not only within the team, but the families, for without their love and support we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

Hansen and his 2013 All Blacks have swept all before them, both on the field and in the trophy stakes, but while the tag of ‘The Unbeatables’ is likely to be recognised in the history books, the coach was quick to play down such a lofty tag.

He said that while the team didn’t lose, comments that the team was perfect didn’t sit well with the group as a whole.

“I’m not sure about perfect,” he said.

“There are plenty of things we could have done better.”

While Hansen and the All Blacks coaching team are on well-deserved breaks, they will reconvene for a formal breakdown of the season in early January.

The coaching team will likely observe the Six Nations before the Investec Super Rugby season commences in February, before the All Blacks prepare for the penultimate season before their World Cup defence in England.