Hansen happy with injury progress

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Lynn McConnell     17 Jun 2017     Getty Images

New Zealand had a 78-0 win in the first run of the season, a game that marked the return of flanker Jerome Kaino from injury.

"The medical staff were always confident we would get him back for that game. One of the things I'm really pleased with is our medical staff. They do a great job and Gilly [Nic Gill] doing what he does on the conditioning side of things, Pete [Gallagher] with his rehab they usually turn up being able to play a good whack of the game so we got him 60 minutes which should really fine tune him for next week and that allows us to bring someone else back if he's selected and I'm picking he's going to be in the same boat. I'm pretty happy with where we're at, at the moment."

Hansen said he was pleased with the first week the side had been together. They had coached it a little differently. They set out a plan of what they needed to do. They didn't have a captain's run and they didn't treat it like a Test week and rolled the dice that it was all about their attitude. The game became a case of trusting their instincts when they played.

As a result of their processesHansene didn't think the All Blacks were over-cluttered and they had the game they needed as well.

"We couldn't have asked for a better week," he said.

"Everyone's been waiting for this one. It's like you've been given the chocolates, you've unwrapped them and you're allowed to eat them. That's the best part isn't it?"

The side would have two days of recovery, they were not days off, and be ready to start training on Monday morning.

"We look forward to working hard through the week and the game is the fun part."

Hansen said there would be no complacency after the magnitude of their win over Samoa.

"If you look at the footage like we look at it, it was good but it wasn't that good. We won't get ahead of ourselves," he said.

The challenge from the Lions was going to be totally different. They'll look to take away all our time and space with their line speed and they'll look to dominate us up front. Unless we get those parts of our game right then we'll struggle. We know what's coming, it's just making sure we're ready for it," he said.

One of the considerations the selectors may have to face is making their choice in mid-field with Ryan Crotty expected to be fit.

"It's going to be tough. Sonny [Williams] was pleasing, there's a couple of things he did he won't be happy with and we wouldn't be either and you could say the same thing for Alby [Anton Leinert-Brown] but as the game wore on both of them got better, and better and better.

"One thing about Sonny that he does, he's like an old meat pie he gets all the flies and everyone else is ok so as they tried to start to get on top of him it opens up for other people and Anton was good enough to take that space that was allowed for him so it's a good combination.

"Ryan [Crotty] again comes in. He's a real heady player, he's a good talker and when you're under immense pressure you need somebody like that too. We used a 1-2-3 punch in the World Cup because we had three good mid-fielders so I'm picking all three of them will probably be involved at some stage in the game. Which order we do it in, we'll just have to wait and see," he said.

Looking at Ardie Savea's role at No.8 in the Test Hansen said it wasn't a case of his versatility being his greatest asset. He was better than that, he said. He was an outstanding player.

"He's such a good athlete. I don't think he's a natural No.8 but I just think his athleticism and his natural ability to play the game allows him to do it."

That versatility did offer some variation in selections and was coupled with Sam Cane developing the ability to play at blindside flanker as well.

"But first and foremost they've got to be playing well and I thought Ardie was outstanding last night," he said.