All Blacks still have plenty to ponder

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Lynn McConnell     20 Aug 2017     Getty Images

Coach Steve Hansen said the first 50 minutes were probably rugby as good as it was possible to see while the last 30 was probably some of the ugliest.

"I think we probably got a little seduced by the scoreboard and went away from the fundamentals of what we wanted to do," he said.

Captain Kieran Read said it felt good to put in the sort of performance which had been achieved by talented players doing the little things well.

"If we can give them go-forward ball and look after the ball when you go into contact things come off and the talent really shines," he said.

Hansen said everyone was frustrated by the last 30 minutes because some of the rugby wasn't where they wanted it to be.

"We just didn't arrest the error rate and it just kept coming at us," he said.

But it was another lesson and would provide plenty of focus in the lead-up to Saturday's Test in Dunedin.

"It won't do us any harm. If we had gone on and won the game playing the way we were in the first half I don't think that would have done us any good either," he said.

Hansen credited assistant coach Ian Foster with the plan prepared for the game and when the plan worked the opposition had to adjust to that and it had taken Australia a while to do that.

"Eventually they did and then they put us under pressure. Rugby is about momentum, well any sport is really, and we seized the momentum right from the get-go and it wasn't until around the 50-minute mark that Australia started to have their turn," he said.

Foster said he was pleased with fullback Damian McKenzie's performance and the coaches had noticed 'real growth' in his efforts in preparation and he had been calm and settled and had played with a clear head.

"When he can get front foot ball like we had in that first 40-50 minutes he showed how good he can be," he said.

Flanker Liam Squire had played well and rewarded the selectors and the team for the work that had been done with him over the last 18 months.

"He's a pretty phenomenal rugby player when he gets it right and he got it right so it was lovely to watch," Hansen said.

Prop Wyatt Crockett had suffered a concussion and the side would follow their usual approach of not considering him for the Dunedin Test and another prop, probably Kane Hames, would be brought in.