Skipper backed himself with decisive call

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Lynn McConnell     26 Aug 2017     Getty Images

While an illegal playing of the ball decision was reversed in the Lions Test to deny the All Blacks the winning of the series, there was no mistake this time as the All Blacks claimed a 35-29 win for their second bonus point win in the Investec Rugby Championship which also secured the Bledisloe Cup for another year.

Read himself claimed the restart which three minutes out from the end set up the chance which saw first five-eighths Beauden Barrett respond to the potential game winning try Australia's second five-eighths Kurtley Beale had scored moments earlier.

"I said to the kicker [Barrett] put the ball on the money and I'll chase it and try and get it back. That's what happened and it was just a case of us playing once we won that ball and having a crack and it came off so we were pretty happy about it," he said.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen acknowledged the strength of the Wallabies effort.

"Australia played well. They were given opportunities and they took them and they stayed in the game the whole way through. They've got to be pleased with themselves as well," he said.

The All Blacks were boosted by another good transfusion of effort from the bench in the second half.

Hansen said the All Blacks bench were growing all the time.

"They came on with a lot of composure tonight and added to the game. We made the comment in the box when we saw them coming off after the haka that they were a young bench compared to what we have had but they're growing and growing in their own belief and they're growing in their understanding of what we need them to do," he said.

New tighthead Nepo Laulala had scrummed 'really, really well', Hansen said, and he was good when he carried but they were looking for him to cover some of the other play that Owen Franks was doing. That would take time for him to get used to that.

"That's a work-on for him, but in his core roles he was outstanding and played a big part in turning the game around because the scrum was a massive part of how we got back into it," he said.

Read said his decisions to go for the corners from penalties was down to the game itself. The side who had the ball was putting the opposition under pressure so when taking the points you had to go back to halfway and start again.

He was also aware the Wallabies were giving away a few penalties and the All Blacks hadn't received the reward of a yellow card that he felt might have come.

But he felt the All Blacks had let the Australians off the hook a little when calling a couple of scrums and then dropping the ball or not executing which was something to work on.

Both flanker Sam Cane and centre Ryan Crotty, who left the field to return after an HIA test, only then to fail a second time later in the game, would both have to go through concussion protocols which was fortunate as the side had a week off before preparing to play Argentina in New Plymouth.

Hansen said when asked if the effort suggested the Wallabies had turned the corner, that he never felt they needed to turn a corner. They were a good side and always had been, and they had played some good rugby in the Test and they would be disappointed because they could easily have won the game.

They hadn't played for five weeks before last weekend's Test match whereas the New Zealanders had been playing finals football whereas this week they had played well again, on top of the way they had finished the Test in Sydney.

Backs coach Ian Foster said the 0-17 setback at the start of the game had resulted in the side getting more physical than skilful under the pressure of the scoreboard.

"Once we settled down and started to trust ourselves and trust the skill sets that we've got I think we were a lot better. It took a while and we've got to make sure we get into that mode quicker.