Hansen lauds skipper McCaw

Getty Images     17 Sep 2012     Getty Images

McCaw was the sorest of a battered All Black squad on Sunday as he nursed a stinger to his neck and a haemotoma to his thigh, both suffered late in the game.

Hansen said he expected McCaw to be fit to travel to Argentina next Saturday and added that the injuries reflected his commitment.

"The blows he took reflect the work he did. He had a massive test."

Hansen said a decision would be made on whether Dan Carter (strained calf muscle) would be fit to travel to Argentina and South Africa during the week.

He said it was possible that the All Blacks would take three first five-eighths - Carter, Aaron Cruden and Beauden Barrett - on tour and leave one of the five props or a loose forward at home.

"I've told the players to go away for a few days and forget about rugby and spend some time with their families," Hansen said.

"It was a huge physical test and sometimes the flow doesn't go the way you want it to."
Hansen said the All Blacks' relished their first test in the new Forsyth Barr Stadium.

"The boys enjoyed the whole occasion and from our point of view you couldn't ask for a better stadium to play in. No one commented on any problems with the surface so that would suggest that it was pretty good."

Hansen was at a loss to explain the goal-kicking problems suffered by the Springboks.

"Aaron Cruden [four from seven] didn't have too many problems. I guess it's somewhere new to kick in and you've just got to adapt to it. Some guys can, others can't."

Hansen is unbeaten after seven tests as coach and the All Blacks have an almost unassailable lead in the championship with 16 points from four games. Australia have eight, South Africa and Argentina three.