Hansen salutes Barrett, Coles

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 08:10

REACTION: New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has paid tribute to the contributions of Beauden Barrett and Dane Coles.

This follows the All Blacks' ruthless demolition of Australia in the Rugby Championship series opener in Sydney.

The world champions swamped the hapless Wallabies by six tries to one in a 42-8 mauling at the weekend, which is the biggest Bledisloe Cup winning margin by a New Zealand side in Australia.

The All Blacks had the contest won by half-time when they led 32-3 after shredding Australia's defence to score four tries, with flyhalf Barrett at the heart of most of the Kiwis' attacks.

Barrett, preferred to Aaron Cruden, scored a try, set up two others and landed three conversions and two penalties for a 17-point haul.

Barrett was the complete package, troubling the shaky Wallaby defence with his composure, accuracy and speed to set alight the All Blacks backline.

Hansen - who shrugged aside the distraction of a listening device being found at the team's Sydney hotel before the game - praised the brilliance of the Wellington Hurricanes playmaker Barrett.

"He's a special player, he can do special things and while he has a mindset that he wants to be better then I'm sure he can," Hansen told reporters after Saturday's game.

Hansen reserved his highest praise for doughty World Cup hooker Coles, who came off the reserves bench in just the third minute after Codie Taylor was knocked out and helped from the field.

Coles was initially ruled out of the match with a rib cartilage injury, only to called up as a replacement when hooker Nathan Harris ruptured knee ligaments in training on Thursday.

He needed painkilling injections to play and played out the rest of the game inspiring teammates with his commitment.

"He was blowing and he's probably sore, but they're all sore," Hansen said of Coles.

"He's tough, there's no doubt about that. He epitomised the team.

"He got called in late, wasn't really expecting to play because we didn't want him to play.

"He played really well and left himself out there on the track.

"When someone does that for you I think you can only pay them the biggest compliment that you can and he's a champion and he played like one."

The All Blacks are now in the familiar box seat to go on and retain the trans-Tasman Bledisloe Cup - which they have held since 2003 - in their two remaining games against the Wallabies at home in Wellington and Auckland.

The Australians have lost three times in Wellington since their last win there in 2000 and have not won in 16 Tests at Auckland's Eden Park since their last triumph in 1986.

Hansen was not looking further than next Saturday's return Test with the Wallabies in Wellington.

"I know the scoreboard was big but it was a tough game and a couple of things you have to look at," he said.

"A lot of the Australian boys haven't played for a long time and that makes it difficult and some nights everything goes your way and it doesn't for the opposition.

"But we've been here before ourselves, we've taken a bit of pasting and then the next game turned it round.

"So we will be expecting them to turn it around next week and we are going to have to get our feet back on the ground.

"You don't win the [Bledisloe] Cup until you've got both hands on it."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 14h00 Paris
Fri, 28 April 2017
Ospreys v Ulster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 22h00 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Scarlets 22h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Dragons 22h00 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 RDS Arena
Treviso v Munster 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
Bulls v Jaguares 26 | 13
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5