Australia 27-19 New Zealand, The Rugby Championship
Hansen expects lift in standard
ESPN Staff
August 18, 2012
New Zealand's Cory Jane goes over, Australia v New Zealand, Rugby Championship, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, August 18, 2012
Cory Jane scored one of New Zealand's two tries © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Steve Hansen

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is expecting a big lift in performance from both sides when they tackle Australia in Auckland next weekend.

The All Blacks got their Rugby Championship campaign underway with a 27-19 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday, although both sides looked a little rusty compared to their best.

New Zealand's defence held up well however and with tries from Israel Dagg and Cory Jane, they were able to pull through for an important first-up victory.

"It's probably not the most perfect game in the world but when you get two sides coming off the breaks we've had, playing at the intensity we're playing, there's going to be errors," Hansen told Reuters. "Both sides will be better for the experience and next week I think will be a real ripper of a game."

New Zealand also created a number of opportunities - to Jane and Hosea Gear, among others - but were unable to find the final touch, something that Hansen expects to change at Eden Park.

"There were a couple of opportunities, Australia had a couple too, and the reason you're not taking them is you're a bit rusty," Hansen said. "CJ [Jane] wouldn't drop too many offloads like he had from Sonny [Bill Williams]. It's about playing together and having that time together. We came off a seven-day preparation and sometimes you need more time than that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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