Hansen's All Blacks break new ground
REACTION: It seems there is no stopping Steve Hansen's All Black team as they continue to break new ground in the game of rugby.
They recorded their biggest ever victory over South Africa with a 57-15 win at Kings Park and in doing so they also equalled the top-tier rugby nations' world record of 17 consecutive victories.
The All Blacks also finished this year's Rugby Championship with a maximum of the 30 points after recording six consecutive bonus-point wins. Australia, who are in second place, finished with 13 points.
In two weeks time, the world champions will have the opportunity to go for a record 18 consecutive wins when they face Australia in a Bledisloe Cup match in Auckland, but Hansen does not want that to play on his players' minds too much.
"I would not get too far ahead of ourselves," Hansen told reporters after their record win over the Boks.
"If we are going to go one step further we have to make sure we prepare really well.
"Australia are a good rugby side. They got a history of turning up when there is a record on the table.
"There are only three sides in the history of the game that have won 17 and now we have become the fourth so that is a pretty proud moment for the team and, particularly when they are a team that want to be seen trying to get better and trying to do things other teams have not done."
Hansen said their ability to build on their success since last year's World Cup was all down to smart planning.
"I think we planned very well for the World Cup and beyond," Hansen added.
"I am not saying that the other teams [South Africa, Australia and Argentina] have not, but we have and we put a lot of work into making sure that we have a captain ready to lead from the front and Kieran [Read] has done that magnificently. We have also been working hard on our skills for a long time."
Hansen also had some comforting words for the Springboks, who suffered their fifth defeat of the year on Saturday.
"I think they are a good side. Those are really good players and I think Allister is a good coach. I just think it is a difficult competition at the moment. We have managed to play well and put other teams under pressure, whereas the rest of the competition was really tight," said Hansen.
By Warren Fortune, in Durban