New Zealand 36-13 England, 3rd Test
Hansen: 'First-half was as good as it gets'
Tom Hamilton at Waikato Stadium
June 21, 2014
Ian Foster was delighted with Malakai Fekitoa's performance © Getty Images
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen praised his team's first-half performance saying "it's as good as you're going to get".
The Kiwis crossed for four first-half tries and went into the break 29-6 to the good. The second-half ended up being a 7-7 draw as England mounted more of a challenge, but in the end the All Blacks secured a 3-0 series win.
Talking about the first-half, Hansen said: "It was satisfying but we're quite greedy. We thought we let a couple of tries go. The things we did well were the things we have been working hard on. We executed our skillsets nicely, our set piece was good, our running lines were good, our catch and pass was good and we finished off the tries that were the to be scored. From that point of view, it's as good as you're going to get."
He added: "Probably, from our point of view, the second-half wasn't what we wanted but throughout the series we've had to deal with various challenges and the second-half was one of those occasions."
McCaw said they were a bit "hesitant" in the second-half but was pleased with the win that was their 17th on the bounce. That is now the joint-highest total from a tier one nation but McCaw wants his team to focus on long-term success.
"You don't make a big deal of it but you acknowledge it as something you want to achieve," McCaw said. "It'd be nice to hold the record outright. You acknowledge it and then it's about every week going back, getting your feet back on the ground and preparing to perform."
And while he did not get on the score sheet, assistant coach Ian Foster was pleased with Malakai Fekitoa's performance in what was his first start.
"I'm very pleased with him. I thought he did the basic roles well and ran good, hard lines and demanded a lot of their defence. It wasn't perfect, there were a couple of decisions where he could've passed instead of carried but when he carried, he carried strong but overall it was a very good starting debut."
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.