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Steve Hansen does not want his All Blacks to let up against Wales

Published 20/06/2016

New Zealand's Steve Hanson does not want to see his players ease up in the third Test against Wales.
New Zealand's Steve Hanson does not want to see his players ease up in the third Test against Wales.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has demanded his players "keep the foot on the throat" against Wales in Saturday's third and final Test.

Having wrapped up the series with a 36-22 victory in Wellington last weekend, former Wales coach Hansen is looking to extinguish the Welsh firepower in Dunedin as the world champions get ready for the Rugby Championship.

He said: "It's all about keeping the foot on the throat for longer periods and not allowing them to escape from the pressure we are trying to impose on them.

"We'll be looking for an overall improvement right across the park in Dunedin. I'm pretty happy with where we are, but I want our set-piece to get even better.

"I thought the scrum was great in Wellington and our line-out put pressure on the Welsh meant we got two turn-over line-outs - and we scored from them both.

"To lose 800 caps from your side is a massive amount of experience. We haven't filled all the gaps yet - it's too early to say that after only two Tests - and we are still working away quietly at the midfield.

"We have got to fit in Sonny Bill Williams when he comes back from the sevens and there may be some other sevens players who might fit it when they return as well.

"We are trucking along pretty well and we've had too good wins early in the season.

"It's not perfect and there are improvements to be made but there is some really good composure and we were thinking quicker than we did the week before.

"You've got to be happy with scoring five tries in a Test match, but we let in a couple of soft ones so we will work away at that."

The All Blacks have plundered 10 tries in two games against Wales and won the first two tests by 18 and 14 points respectively.

However, New Zealand fans and pundits were predicting a 30-point winning margin last weekend and are not totally satisfied with their team's performances.

The double world champions have now won 40 successive home matches and Hansen himself has yet to taste defeat in 22 games on New Zealand soil.

Wales, meanwhile, are still trying to break that 63-year stranglehold the All Blacks have had over them, losing 28 games in a row.

Hansen added: "As we go through this series I think you will see us continually improve.

"We were pretty much in control in the first half last weekend and then in the last 15 minutes Wales threw the kitchen sink at us.

"Everyone talks about how much they've got left in the tank for their last game of the year, but it is no different for us when we got to the northern hemisphere in the autumn. I don't hear that being used an excuse for us.

"Wales will believe they still have plenty in the tank. We got our tries off turnover ball last weekend, so if they can stop that then they will believe they can win in Dunedin, and that's great for the series."

Hansen is hopeful that outside-half Aaron Cruden will be able to be considered for selection this weekend after being given the all-clear from doctors after injuring his neck in a first-half tackle by Luke Charteris.

Cruden's replacement, Beauden Barrett, did npt travel with his team-mates to Dunedin on Sunday after picking up a flu bug. He is due to join them later in the week.

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