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All Blacks one game away from perfect year

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Sportal.co.nz     17 Nov 2013     Getty Images

After the loss suffered at Twickenham last season he said the side benefitted from a far better week of preparation with no interruptions and the year had been planned better so the side arrived a little fresher.

Their last game is against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

While England had asked plenty of questions of the All Blacks, Hansen was delighted that they answered most of them.

"In the end we got on top of them and dominated them in the last 20 minutes and we would have been pretty unlucky at the end to lose it," he told SKY Television after the game.

There were moments of frustration resulting from the refereeing stance of Craig Joubert.

"I was frustrated because we got a guy [Kieran Read] in the bin for an incident then they were allowed to do the same thing, that's frustrating.

"But I had complete faith if we could keep doing what we are good at and do our processes, eventually we would get on top of them.

"It was a genuine Test match. We had to play for the whole 80 minutes to get there," he said.

Hansen said the side was tougher mentally and acknowledged the role of team advisor Gilbert Enoka in that.

Captain Richie McCaw said there had been moments of frustration with the way things appeared to be going against the All Blacks.

"When those sort of times come you have to keep thinking about what you are going to do next and believing in what you are doing. The guys didn't panic out there and we went behind with a few minutes to go but we stuck to our guns.

"We looked at our process which was playing at the right end of the field and holding the ball and when we did that we put a lot of pressure on them," he said.

McCaw acknowledged the way England had come back from 3-17 down to put the All Blacks under pressure. New Zealand hadn't adapted as well as they should have, he said, and they didn't get any field position.

It became important to make the adaption and taking opportunities when they came, he said.

McCaw admitted to some frustrations with refereeing calls from Craig Joubert but he said you had to be careful when the momentum was against you that you didn't start looking for reasons other than yourselves.

"That was the way Craig was seeing it and we had to adapt. I thought we did that well in the second half. I guess it's just the nature of a pretty tough contest," he said.

No.8 Kieran Read said there had been a lot of hype around the game and it lived up to it.

The All Blacks had a great start but the English showed their spirit by coming back at them.

However, he said the mental aptitude of the All Blacks was huge and they were able to grind out the win in the end.

Territory and possession were vital, while New Zealand had given away too many penalties, he said, but once they fixed that it had worked out all right.

He said his own sin-binning was part and parcel of the All Blacks lack of discipline which had kept England in the game during the first half.