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Hansen looking forward to improvements

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Sportal.co.nz     03 Nov 2013     Getty Images

Coach Steve Hansen said he was 'reasonably happy' with the effort but added there were things the side could have done a lot better.

"But that'll give us something to work on during the week," he told SKY TV after the game.

Hansen said the Japanese had put New Zealand under some pressure with their approach but he was delighted with the way the All Blacks responded.

The try-scoring record was the second best in world rugby and the All Blacks were determined to prevent them scoring, although it took desperate defence in the 81st minute to deny them.

"They [Japan] did play well and they should be encouraged," Hansen said.

There was frustration that New Zealand went away from their game plan in the first half, but once they started playing their own game with their own structures and skill sets, the tries followed.

Hansen was delighted with the way captain Richie McCaw and first five-eighths Dan Carter came through the game after injuries.

McCaw said it had been good to get 80 minutes of play and Japan had played some good rugby while the All Blacks had given away too many penalties.

"At times we took our opportunities and we played some good patches of rugby so we've got to be happy with that. But we've learnt a few lessons as well," he said.

McCaw said he was looking forward to the rest of the tour and the internationals against France, England and Ireland.

"I'm excited, you play this game to be tested and playing next week in Paris and a week later at Twickenham, it doesn't get much bigger than that," he said.

New lock Dominic Bird said he had experienced a rollercoaster year in rugby and he didn't start the year expecting to be in the All Blacks. He had been forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury in the June window, but was recalled for the tour and said he was enjoying learning from the experience.

The Test had been a little messy to start with, he said, but once the team got rolling in their usual structures it had been better.

And Luke Whitelock, who debuted from the bench, said his nerves had been high all day and it had been awesome to be part of the match.

Whitelock said he hadn't been aware that his debut made the Whitelocks only the third family to have three brothers reach international level for the All Blacks. They followed the Nicholls family of Wellington and the Brownlies of Hawke's Bay.

"They [the Japanese] didn't back down and they kept coming in wave after wave and got stuck into it."

It had been good to get his first Test under his belt and he had enjoyed the week of preparation in Tokyo, he said.