Gallaher Cup - New Zealand v France
Hansen happy with 'ugly' All Blacks win
June 8, 2013
New Zealand's Rene Ranger runs through the tackle of France's Thierry Dusautoir, New Zealand v France, Gallaher Cup, Eden Park, Auckland, June 8, 2013
Rene Ranger made a huge impact off the bench © Getty Images

New Zealand's "ugly" 23-13 win in the first Test against France at Eden Park in Auckland has given the side a foundation for the rest of the Gallaher Cup series, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

New Zealand outscored the tourists two tries to one, but they were made to fight for the victory in a physical encounter as mistakes and a lack of fluency made for a stop-start affair.

"We're really happy with the win against the quality of opposition," Hansen said. "Obviously we're not happy with the performance to the point where we know that it was ugly at times, but we also know that it's the first game of the season."

Hansen said the All Blacks were working on introducing new things into their game, and that was always going to create potential for mistakes. But he was confident they would come up with a better display when the three-Test series moves to Christchurch next Saturday. "This game has given us a good marker," he said. "We've got the win and we've got a whole lot of information that we can go away and digest and improve our game on."

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre was disappointed with the defeat, saying the 10-point margin didn't reflect what had happened on the pitch. "We were in the game for 80 minutes," he said. "We broke them quite a lot, maybe seven times, and we didn't finish enough. In a high-level game, it's small details."

Saint-Andre also rued the mistakes that his side made, citing lost balls in contact, a crucial turnover that led to an All Blacks try, and a set piece that didn't work as well as he had expected.

New Zealand made a winning start to their Test season (video available only in Australia)

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