Hansen departs confident for All Blacks' future

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Hansen said he was proud of the All Blacks' winning 40-17 performance against Wales in the bronze medal final, as they had shown some 'real character and commitment to the jersey'. He hoped that had made a lot of New Zealanders proud.


"I'd like to commend Wales as well because they came to play and it was a good game of footy and at the end of the day the game is bigger than all of us.


"We're continually trying to capture people to become part of this great game and if you come with intent to play, and lots of tries were scored by both teams you capture more and more people and get them excited about the game," he said.


Hansen hit out again at the Six Nations for dominating the way the game's decisions were made.


"I think that's one of our issues with the game; we need to become a global game and make decisions that are right for the game rather than what's right for a region," he said.


It was a challenge for countries to put their own personal desires to the side and do what was right for the game," he said.


Hansen said New Zealand could take some pride from their success and the way it forced opponents to get better if they were to beat the All Blacks. Both the World Cup finalists England and South Africa had done that and now the All Blacks were chasing them.


"Now that my time with the All Blacks has finished I know the All Blacks will continue to strive to be better.


"I've been incredibly lucky with the people, great leaders in Richie [McCaw] and then Reado [Kieran Read] to come in and continue that. I've had great support from the coaching staff and management. Fossie [Ian Foster] is an outstanding coach in his own right and Crono [Mike Cron] is a brilliant coach.


"You don't do what we've done over the years just with one person. I guess our challenge now is to regroup, reset the goals for the next four years. However, what I do know is that the young men who are going to come back have a personal pain.


"They've experienced something you can't tell them about, you can't convince them about it until it is personal to themselves and it's now personal. So that'll make them a little more dangerous and I look forward to seeing them grow and continue to grow and I look forward to the game doing the same thing because the more competitive it is the greater it is for the game," he said.


Hansen said he hadn't had a lot of time to reflect on the journey he had taken with the side.


After the disappointment for the players of missing the goal they had set, he had been concentrating on getting them over the emotional hump and ready to play on Friday.


In time he would have reflection on what had been achieved.


"If you play in a final you don't want to be in, you want to win it. We're a competitive bunch, we're a proud bunch and all week we talked about the need to represent the legacy of the jersey, what would it expect of us as a group and what would our fans expect," he said.


It was those expectations that helped you get up and show your true character, he said.


Captain Kieran Read deserved to take a bow for his efforts during the week because he had been hurting probably more than most and that was seen earlier in the week.


"But he put his own personal feelings aside because he knew this team had to get up and when you sit there and see the performance they put in you can be nothing but proud of it," he said.


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