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Italy sorted, now back to Ireland for All Blacks

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Lynn McConnell     13 Nov 2016     Getty Images

All Blacks captain Sam Cane said he was pleased with the way the side kept the scoreboard ticking over against Italy. They had been able to keep building throughout the game.

"We were focusing on forgetting about what was on the scoreboard and just continue to try and play smart and good footy," he told SKYSport.

Cane said the way Italy played had made the All Blacks keep working for the 80 minutes and it had been a good Test match.

The team had been able to concentrate on preparing to play Italy rather than raking over the coals from the defeat by Ireland last week.

The team didn't needed to be prodded about last weekend's loss, they had been disappointed and embarrassed, he said, and while it was a different group of players involved in Rome they all knew they had to bounce back and put in an effort the team could be proud of.

"It was pleasing because a lot of the boys haven't played any rugby for a while and for a couple of them it was their first taste in an All Blacks jersey so the way we managed to come together I was pretty proud of," he said.

Coach Steve Hansen said the side had scored 10 tries and played some nice rugby while there were still some things they could work on. But it had been a good opportunity for some of the young players who had been working hard behind the scenes and they had taken their opportunity quite well.

Even when a number of substitutions were made early in the second half, the scoreboard had kept ticking over without the disruption that sometimes occurred.

But the focus was already shifting to the return game against Ireland.

"Next week is going to be a massive week for us. We've got a big challenge in front of us so having everyone in good form is helpful and everyone is challenging for places.

"But the bigger picture is also good. We've got a group of guys who got some opportunities today to add to their Test experience and that will bode us well in the future," he said.

"It will be a good challenge for this team, we will see really where we are. Ireland aren't going to lie down, they'll take a lot of belief out of what they did last time we played them and we've got to step up to the plate," he said.

Hansen downplayed the Italian attitude which had disappointed. He said when trying to implement change it was difficult. It was like trying to turn a ship around, it took a long time to stop it and then turn it around. But they understood what they were trying to do and in the future it was likely to result in a more positive approach.

"It doesn't just happen overnight," he said.