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Monday 22 January 2018

Steve Hansen: They certainly rattled us

Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
The Ireland team look on as the New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
The Ireland team led by Paul OConnell stand facing the Haka ahead of the game.
The New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
Joe Schmidt ahead of the game.
The New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
24 November 2013; The New Zealand and Ireland teams during the National Anthem. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
The Ireland team look on as the New Zealand team perform the Haka ahead of the game.
Rory Best, Ireland, breaks through the tackles of Luke Romano, left, and Steven Luatua, New Zealand, on the way to scoring his sides second try.
Maa Nonu, New Zealand, is tackled by Mike Ross, Ireland.
Conor Murray is congratulated by team-mates
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Jamie Heaslip, Ireland.
Rory Best, Ireland, scores his sides second try.
Conor Murray, Ireland, goes over to score his sides first try.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, goes for the ball in a lineout against Brodie Retallick, New Zealand.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Sean OBrien, Ireland.
24 November 2013; Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his side's third try. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his sides third try.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his sides third try.
Supporters look on as Jonathan Sexton, Ireland, prepares to kick a conversion.
Sean OBrien, Ireland, breaks clear of the tackle of Andrew Hore,
24 November 2013; Ireland's Rory Best is led off the field by Dr. Eanna Falvey after picking up an injury during the first half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 November 2013; Rob Kearney, Ireland, on his way to scoring his side's third try. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
24 November 2013; Ireland's Rob Kearney scores his side's third try despite the attempts of New Zealand's Kieran Read. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 November 2013; Ireland's Rory Best receives treatment from Dr. Eanna Falvey after picking up an injury during the first half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Tommy Bowe, Ireland, catches a high ball ahead of Brodie Retallick, New Zealand.
Cian Healy, Ireland, is tackled by Wyatt Crockett, New Zealand.
Irelands Rob, left, and Dave Kearney, attempt to claim a high ball ahead of Richie McCaw, New Zealand.
Steven Luatua, New Zealand, is tackled by Dave Kearney, Ireland.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, scores his sides third try despite the efforts of Kieran Read, New Zealand.
Cian Healy, Ireland, is tackled by Maa Nonu. New Zealand.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, is tackled by Richie McCaw, New Zealand.
Julian Savea, New Zealand, on his way to scoring his sides first try despite the efforts of Conor Murray, Ireland.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, in action against Peter OMahony, right, and Sean OBrien, Ireland.
Ben Smith, New Zealand, is tackled by Paul OConnell, Ireland.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, picks up the ball on his way to scoring his sides third try.
Maa Nonu, New Zealand, is tackled by Jonathan Sexton, Ireland.
Rob Kearney, center, Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates, from left, Jamie Heaslip, Dave Kearney, Isaac Boss and Kevin McLaughlin after scoring his sides third try.
Rob Kearney, second from left, Ireland, is congratulated by team-mates after scoring his sides third try.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, slips through the tackle of Maa Nonu, left, and Ben Smith, New Zealand.
Cian Healy, Ireland, breaks through the challenge of Richie McCaw, New Zealand.
Julian Savea, New Zealand, is tackled by Sean OBrien, Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Brian ODriscoll, Ireland, speaks with Dr. Eanna Falvey after the half-time whistle.
Sean OBrien, Ireland, is tackled by Andrew Hore, New Zealand.
24 November 2013; Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, leaves the field injured during the second half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Ireland supporters wave their flags as the Irish team leave the field after the first half.
Devin Toner, Ireland, wins a lineout from Brodie Retallick, New Zealand. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Brian ODriscoll, Ireland, leaves the field injured during the second half. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Brian ODriscoll, Ireland, is replaced by Luke Marshall during the second half.
Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
Samuel Whitelock, left, and Richie McCaw, New Zealand, in action against Cian Healy, Ireland.
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Conor Murray, left, and Gordon DArcy, Ireland.
24 November 2013; Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Conor Murray, left, and Gordon D'Arcy, Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Aaron Cruden, New Zealand, is tackled by Conor Murray, Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Devin Toner, Ireland, and Samuel Whitelock, New Zealand, go for the ball in a lineout. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Sean Cronin, Ireland, is tackled by Sam Whitelock, New Zealand. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Rob Kearney, Ireland, is tackled by Ryan Crotty, New Zealand. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
Irelands Brian ODriscoll is led off the field by Dr. Eanna Falvey, right, and Dr. Jim McShane, left, after picking up an injury.
Irelands Jonathan Sexton reacts after missing a kick in the 74th minute of the game.
Irelands Jonathan Sexton reacts after missing a kick in the 74th minute of the game.
Irelands Jonathan Sexton kicks a penalty in the 74th minute of the game.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, argues with the referee after New Zealand retook their conversion to win the game.
Ireland players after conceeding asecond try.
Jamie Heaslip, Ireland, is tackled by Dane Coles and Owen Franks, top, New Zealand.
Jamie Heaslip, Ireland, is tackled by Dane Coles and Owen Franks, top, New Zealand.
A dejected Brian ODriscoll, left, and Paul OConnell, Ireland, after the game
Irelands Jack McGrath, left, and Paul OConnell, watch as New Zealands last minute conversion goes over the posts to win the game.
24 November 2013; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll reacts to the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
A dejected Kevin McLaughlin, right, and Luke Fitzgerald, Ireland, after the final whistle.
A dejected Dave kearney, left, and Luke Fitzgerald, Ireland, after the final whistle.
A dejected Devin Toner, Ireland, after the final whistle. Guinness Series International
Brian ODriscoll reacts to the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland.
A dejected Paul OConnell, Ireland, after the final whistle.
Irelands Brian ODriscoll reacts after the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland.
; Irelands Brian ODriscoll reacts to the TMO of the final New Zealand try that lost the game for Ireland.
A dejected Paul OConnell, Ireland after the game. Guinness Series International, Ireland v New Zealand, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
New Zealands Ryan Crotty goes over to score his sides last minute try despite the attempts of Irelands Conor Murray.
New Zealands Ryan Crotty goes over to score his sides last minute try.
New Zealands Ryan Crotty goes over to score his sides last minute try despite the attempts of Irelands Conor Murray.
Irelands Rory Best following his sides defeat.
Dejected Ireland players, from left, Jamie Heaslip, Paul OConnell and Sean OBrien at the end of the game against the All Blacks in 2013
A dejected Luke Fitzgerald, Ireland, after the final whistle.
A dejected Sean Cronin, Ireland, after the final whistle.
Paul OConnell, Ireland, congratulates New Zealand captain Richie McCaw after the game.

Nick Purewal

Ireland lacked the self-belief to hold out for a first-ever victory over the All Blacks, according to New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen.

Kiwis boss Hansen hailed a "sensational performance" from the Irish, despite his side's last-gasp 24-22 victory in Dublin.

New Zealand notched their 14th consecutive victory in 2013, the first team in the professional era to register the perfect season.

Proud coach Hansen paid tribute to his side's ability to shrug off Ireland's three tries in 17 minutes, and hit back with a score from Ryan Crotty with the game's final play.

Aaron Cruden's overtime conversion, at the second attempt after Ireland charged the first before he started his run-up, made history for the All Blacks.

But Hansen said Ireland should probably have held on for a first-ever victory over New Zealand in 108 years.

Hansen said: "I would like to congratulate Ireland on a sensational performance.

"They certainly rattled us and that wasn't the script.

"They can take a lot from their performance.

"But I'm incredibly proud of our 23: to claw their way across the line is a special effort.

"Maybe another day Ireland would have won it, but we'll take it, enjoy the summer and reflect on what's been a great year but at the same time realise we've got a lot of work to do to stay where we are.

"But it's important to acknowledge a pretty special performance from Ireland.

"I think it's really important that you don't see this as the All Blacks as not having turned up.

"The All Blacks turned up, but so did Ireland.

"When you force mistakes, and when you're good enough to score from them you put the team suffering under pressure and you fill your own jersey up with self-belief.

"We expect them to be tough, every time. But sometimes they don't believe they are as tough as they are.

"All of a sudden we saw a team way beyond what we'd seen for a while."

New Zealand's perfect-year chase was in serious trouble at half-time, with Ireland leading 22-7.

The All Blacks added a second-half score through Ben Franks to Julian Save'a first-half finish.

Jonathan Sexton had a penalty to restore an eight-point Irish lead with six minutes to play.

Had the Racing Metro man landed that shot at goal, Hansen admitted it was effectively game over.

He said: "After half-time we looked after the ball a bit.

"Had they kicked the goal it was all over, but they gave us a sniff and that's what makes us coaches very proud of our players, because it's special to produce that.

"We just knew if we backed our structures a chance would come.

"If we could hold onto the ball for long enough, I thought we could score."

Hansen said there was nothing controversial about the retake for Cruden's conversion that decided the contest.

He said: "The rules are the rules, it's unfortunate but you can't charge early.

"But who's to say if they hadn't charged he would have kicked it anyway.

"You have to accept that, that's the way it goes sometimes."

Captain Richie McCaw saw a year that has seen so many questions thrown at New Zealand end with the All Blacks having provided all the answers.

McCaw said: "There have been a lot of different challenges: pretty much all the top teams around the world.

"Being able to deal with those challenges, different injuries, you wrap that up and still produce good performances, then don't perform and still get home.

"Being able to deal with all that, I sit here pretty proud we've been able to do the job under all those circumstances.

"Personally I love the challenges of combating what teams will do to try to stop you.

"To be able to sit here having been able to find the answers, that's been fantastic."

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