Praise for the All Blacks 'Waterloo' defence

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James Mortimer     17 Jun 2013     Getty Images

The All Blacks, like the Duke of Wellington’s forces on the 18 June, 1815, refused to yield to the continued offensive raids by France.

With a touch of historical irony, in the same way that Wellington’s forces initially counterattacked the French army nearly two centuries ago, the All Blacks, after defending for nearly 30 phases, broke through and scored a try with a scintillating attack towards Les Bleus right defensive flank – in a similar manner to the way Prussian Forces famously attacked Napolean’s forces on his right side.

In the end France were kept to zero for the first time in over two decades, with the last side managing the feat being David Sole’s all-conquering Scottish side in 1990.

Hansen said subtle changes and the right mental approach made the difference.

“Defence wins games” Hansen said.

“Because it shows the attitude and what the team are about with each other. Aussie (Brian McLean, the All Blacks assistant coach) has made a couple of little changes which I think have helped our defence as far as getting people in the right places.”

“The game was in the balance until that period where we did defend for a long time, then got the opportunity to strike and took it. I was pleased with both areas (attack and defence) but defence (wins) by a nose.”