Hurt All Blacks have the motivation - Hansen

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Lynn McConnell     18 Nov 2016     Getty Images

Hansen said the side were high-performance athletes and there were several players who were disappointed with their efforts in Chicago.


"The reality is to perform at a high level in any sport it's self-motivation that's the key and there's a lot of people know they didn't play well a couple of weeks ago and they'll be disappointed with that.

"Their motivation will be high. I don't think motivation will be a problem. Complacency certainly won't be a problem, attitudinally they're in the house," he said.

The job of Hansen and his staff was to create the environment where they could use their abilities to go out and perform with strategies to allow them to learn and to have some fun in the process as well.

"We know that when we have fun and learn in equal amounts we get a good performance," he said.

Hansen said the result in Chicago dictated the All Blacks were the underdog for the rematch and their job was to go out and get the result they wanted. Ireland would be doing the same and one win in 111 years would not be enough.

"They'll be keen for another one and it should be a cracking game and one we're looking forward to.
"If everyone does their core roles, whether it's the lineout, or the breakdown, or in defence or on attack, that should fix our performance and take it to a far better level than it was and whether that's good enough again we'll see on Saturday," he said.

The All Blacks had made 16 unforced errors out of 21 that was something that needed to be fixed and 12 out of 12 penalties were avoidable and when Ireland wanted to kick to the corners to use their driving mauls, from which they scored two tries, it was giving them what they wanted so that had to be avoided.

Hansen said he hadn't been surprised by the rise of England and Ireland in the post-World Cup phase. England had always had the talent but had succumbed to the pressure and expectation of a home World Cup, and that was something the All Blacks could relate to while Ireland had suffered some injuries that reduced their chances.

And a World Cup was different to regular internationals.

"In a Test series you can lose a game and get another opportunity to fix it up the next week but if you lose at the World Cup, particularly in the knockout stages, you're away home. It can be quite ruthless," he said.

The All Blacks didn't have any God-given right to win every game but they knew if they prepared well and their attitude was good then they would be hard to beat, Hansen said.

If the other team proved better on the day it was a case of moving on and trying to get better, and that was something the All Blacks always talked about, trying to get better.
Hansen said Aaron Smith had been preferred at halfback because they felt he was the best halfback in the world while he acknowledged that Ireland would say Conor Murray was the best. That would be another contest in the game, and the result would be determined by which tight five produced the performance that allowed the halfback and first five-eighths to control their game. In Chicago that had been Ireland's Conor Murray and Jonathon Sexton because of the platform they were given up front.

"As long as I've been watching rugby, which is a long time, until the day I die that won't change, rugby is about winning the battle up front," he said.

Hansen said he was sure Ireland's coach Joe Schmidt would have a trick or two up his sleeve because he liked to analyse teams and look at ways of opening sides up. So that required the All Blacks to play well across the field and at their set pieces both on and off their ball. And it would be a case of trying to reduce the amount of time Ireland had been given in Chicago and to make the right decisions.

He felt Schmidt had made Ireland, a team renowned for the passion in its game both on and off the field, a smarter side in the way they played and their fitness and the way they wanted to play had improved.

"Their whole coaching staff are challenging them to understand why, how and when. They are not big words but they are pretty important when it comes to playing footy and making good decisions.

"They are making better decisions therefore and the opposition, whoever they are playing, has to do the same," he said.