All Blacks improve but more to do

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Lynn McConnell     18 Jun 2016     Getty Images

They may have to look at the structure of their match-day 23 after first five-eighths Aaron Cruden was taken to hospital for check ups after he was taken from the field with a neck injury.


Coach Steve Hansen felt the effort was an improvement on several fronts but there was still plenty to work on for the sayd.

Hansen said scoring five tries meant the All Blacks management had to be 'reasonably happy' with the attack play and they had defended well for long periods of the game.

"Even when the Welsh scored their last try we were dominating with our defence, made one small mistake and they were good enough to penalise us by making a break.

"There were big improvements across the board, our lineout was a lot better, we managed to put pressure on their ball and our scrum, in the end, we scored two great set-piece tries off it," he said.

So far as the defence went he felt there was more cohesion and intensity in the hits but there weren't many rewards for getting over the ball, he said, but they would look at that. There had been a lot more dominating tackles than in the first Test.

"Last week we spent most of the time scrambling but this week we came forward and put pressure on them," he said.

Captain Kieran Read said it was always important just after half-time and the All Blacks had settled into that period a little better and it was always pleasing to score off a scrum so it had been especially pleasing to do it twice on the night.

Assistant coach Ian Foster said it had been good experience for Seta Tamanivalu who had benefited from the extra time he had after replacing centre Malakai Fekitoa. He learnt more about line speed of defenders but he had put a lot of energy into the game and contributed well.

Foster said when Beauden Barrett went on to replace Aaron Cruden he, like all the backs, had been struggling in the face of the Welsh defence to get the ball to the space they needed but once that had been achieved Barrett looked sharp, carried the ball strongly and made some good decisions particularly with his passing game.

"Overall he played the sort of game we expect him to but it was great to see him look composed in the 10 jersey," he said.

Foster said fullback Israel Dagg returned to the side with an outstanding game, especially with his kicking game and he had handled the windy conditions very well.

"His organisation at the back was quality and it was good to see him running around with the ball looking for opportunities so we're delighted with him," he said.