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'A good day for New Zealand rugby' - Hansen

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    03 Nov 2018     Getty Images

Hansen told Skysport after New Zealand's 10 tries to five win that he had to be happy with the win.

"We put a lot of inexperienced players in a Test match against a team that's been playing very well in the last couple of years," he said.

"There were a few risks involved in that but the boys, I think, have come through and out the other side with a big tick.

"They had a period there where they got caught trying to play the Japanese game and did everything that the Japanese team wanted them to do and tried to play football down in our 22. Ironically, I think once we started to play a bit more sensibly and wisely and use our kicking game to find space and turn them around, we started putting some points on them."

Hansen said Japan had some razzle-dazzle about them. They were a great team to play against because they wanted to play rugby and he felt they would be a great team to support because fans would get their moneys worth because they wouldn't die wondering.

"That's the pleasing thing about our performance, we played against a side that can play rugby and the boys, I'm really proud of them. Eight guys got their first cap. I think there's about 169 caps out there altogether and [Dane] Colesy had 56 of them so.

"It was a good day for New Zealand rugby, for the future particularly. A lot of these guys won't go to the World Cup but they'll certainly be involved, I would say, after that so that's pretty pleasing to see them get a head start, a taste of it.



"They'll go back to their franchises next year and be really pumped to try to be better rugby players and that's what we're trying to produce."

Hansen said Coles had played well in scoring his trademark try, scrummed well and threw accurately. He was coming along nicely, he said.

Replacement wing George Bridge had carried on his Super Rugby form and was very accomplished and seemed to have time on the ball and lock Patrick Tuipulotu had led the lineout well during the week. While he was familiar with leadership at lower levels in the game and not so much at Test level. But he had stepped up to drive the lineout during the week and he was proud of the way he had done that.

New flanker Dalton Papali'i had been 'really good' in his debut game and while running out of petrol towards the end he was going to be a good rugby player, he said.

Coles said it had been a challenging week in preparing but it was evident in their play how much it meant to the new players when they did the All Blacks jersey proud.

"I'm stoked to be a part of it, and stoked to be out playing rugby again, something I've missed," he said.

He was happy to help out captain Luke Whitelock who had been outstanding in leading the side while first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga led the side well around the field. They had given away the lead early on but the young players could be proud of themselves for the way the responded, he said.

Japan assistant coach Tony Brown said while they had wanted to play the game at speed they were beaten at the breakdown and were guilty of soft tackles.

But when they were able to get their game going they had players with x-factor who could score some good tries.

"From out point of view if we can get a bit better at the contact area who knows, we might be able to challenge Tier One teams," he said.

"It was always going to be a challenge at scrum times, lineout times, but I felt we held our own there especially in the second half at scrum time."