Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Hansen intrigued by England tactics

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen insists he will watch England's tactics with interest over the remainder of their QBE Series.

The All Blacks extended their dominance over Stuart Lancaster's men to a fifth successive victory after prevailing 24-21 at Twickenham on Saturday.

Of the five losses, England can genuinely claim to having been in contention for two of them - the 30-22 defeat last autumn and the 20-15 reverse in the first Test of the summer tour to New Zealand.

Hansen believes they have moved away from the expansive gameplan they used in June.

"Every match against England has been physically tough," Hansen said.

"In that first Test in June they should have won and taken advantage of us only having five days to prepare.

"Okay, they had a young side but they still should have won. Our guys found a way to win.

"The second Test was an even game, there was one point in it, but with seven minutes to go we picked the bag up and went home.

"The last Test in New Zealand we dominated when they tried to play us at our own game, but on Saturday they went back to their old style. They wanted to get physical, drive us and out-scrum us.

"It is going to be with interest that I watch what they do over the next few weeks."

Hansen described the notion that New Zealand had landed a telling psychological blow ahead of next year's World Cup as a "load of baloney" and his captain Richie McCaw agreed with the sentiment.

"In 10 months time when the World Cup starts, it will be totally different to what it was like on Saturday," McCaw said.

"You can't read too much into this game so we won't get too carried away. But what was pleasing was to get the job done."

New Zealand's tour continues against Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday before concluding against Wales at the Millennium Stadium a week later.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph