"The first half was about as good as you'll get, but the wheels came off in the second."
That's the assessment of All Blacks coach Steve Hansen after tonight's 36-13 victory over England in Hamilton.
Sealing a 3-0 series sweep and extending a winning streak to 17 test matches, Hansen was pleased with the overall display, but certainly wasn't getting carried away.
The All Blacks seized control of the match early on and were 29-6 up at the break. Only a try after the hooter stopped England winning the second half, however.
"We got penalised three times in the scrum and went form their goal line to our goal line, put ourselves under a lot of pressure and then lineout time we just couldn't organise a lineout call," Hansen said. "The lineout has been slow all year.
"Those are things we can go away and work at I guess, but, we can go away with a lot of positives out of it. Even the last try, most sides would have kicked the ball out.
"We're trying to play what is in front of us a lot of the time, if the space is there, then run. If the space is there in behind them then kick it there, or pass it to someone to kick it there. That's as simple as it gets really and it seems to be working for us."
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw echoed his coach's sentiments, describing his side's second 40 minutes as "disappointing" in an otherwise improved and more typical display.
"I'm very happy with the performance, especially the first half. Considering it was a slippery ball I thought the boys were outstanding in that first 20 minutes and put the pressure on," McCaw said.
"It didn't quite reach the same height in the second half but 36-13, I'm pretty happy.
"The second half was a bit disappointing to give away a few scrum penalties, I thought the boys up front did a pretty good job.
"In the first couple of games I think everyone would have wanted to put a better performance out there. Some of the guys certainly did that tonight and across the park, although it wasn't perfect, I thought it was a pretty good performance."
"Come the third game we were starting to get the understanding of each other, and you saw the result - some good set piece tries and guys playing for each other, which is cool."
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