Hansen compares loss to 2007

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Soon after the match he discussed the comparison with former coach Sir Graham Henry and former centre Conrad Smith and they had agreed.

 

But different to that occasion the fact New Zealand had advanced one step further in the tournament meant that for the first time since 2003 they have to play the bronze medal game against Wales on Friday.

 

It will be the third time New Zealand have played that game. In 2003 they beat France 40-13, in 1999 they lost to South Africa 18-22 and in 1991 they beat Scotland 13-6.

 

In quickly putting the semifinal disappointment behind him, Hansen laid the ground for whoever follows him in the job, not so much in the personal sense, but in the time-honoured All Blacks' method of passing the torch from one era to another.

 

All Blacks learned from adversity. The 1993 loss to England had fuelled the deeds of All Blacks at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, especially the semifinal against England which they won 45-29 and for the year after when they beat the Springboks on South African soil for the first time in a Test series.

 

It also fuelled Richie McCaw's sides to success in 2011 and 2015 after the disappointment of failing to go beyond the quarterfinals when losing to France in Cardiff 18-20 in 2007.

 

In the immediate aftermath players had to 'bite down on the gum shield and suck it up' while being professional and turning their minds to the third and fourth playoff against Wales.

 

"For the young guys, and to be fair for the old guys, there has not been a lot of adversity," Hansen said.

 

"For 12 years we have been reasonably successful game after game after game. We have dropped, maybe, 10 games now…over 104 or 105 which is pretty amazing in itself.

 

"But what that does do is take away all those guys who have felt the pain," he said.

 

Bottling up the experience in Japan would fuel the side in the future.

 

"It's experience they will have in their back pocket," he said.

 

In the meantime, another Test against Wales, who will tour New Zealand next winter as both sides play under new coaches, looms on Friday.

 

Hansen said it was massively important to 'get back on the horse, kick it in the guts and get on with it'.

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