Plenty of positives in negatives for AllBlacks

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James Mortimer     20 Aug 2012     Getty Images

This could be attributed to the players being rusty, out of the test arena since June, while some hadn't suited up in anger since the Investec Super Rugby season wrapped up it's regular season.

The Wallabies were expected to have an advantage considering they had spent extended time together in camp, but it was the All Blacks that came out more fired up as they physically imposed themselves in the contest.

It was in that respects similar to their Eden Park World Cup semi-final.

The home team looked more off the pace at times, yet it was credit to their tenaciousness that they managed to keep in the contest, threatening the All Blacks line in the closing stages.

Yet it was a composed defensive display, with some classic sting in attack, that gave the All Blacks the edge.

And once again, the ability of the All Blacks to lift it up a notch in the tight exchanges proved to be significant.

Hansen said the team would take the win.

"It's probably not the most perfect game in the world," he said.

"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.  

Despite clear dominance in some aspects of the game, there was some facets of the All Blacks play that looked below their usually high standards.

Some missed passes and some lapses in execution meant that the World Champions were not able to convert all of their chances.

"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.

There was plenty to like about the match, with the form of many All Blacks impressive as The Investec Rugby Championship begins.

Israel Dagg made an impressive return to form with arguably his best display of the year, while his wingmen in Cory Jane and Hosea Gear both looked threatening.

The midfield of Sonny Bill Williams and Ma'a Nonu looked a little 'rusty' at times, but there was no doubting the threat of the two men, with the All Blacks using the two goliaths as dummy runners on numerous occassions.

Dan Carter and Aaron Smith combined well, with Carter controlling the game well while Smith had a strong match against potentially the halfback's benchmark in Will Genia.

Up front Wallabies veteran Nathan Sharpe was potentially the best forward for the hosts, but the likes of Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Kieran Read, Liam Messam and McCaw all had notable games for the All Blacks - with breakdown area and set piece control prominent from the World Champions.