All Blacks: We are getting better - Hansen warns

By David Legge

The All Blacks next visit Australia for a dead Bledisloe Cup rubber in Brisbane on October 20.  Photo / Getty Images
The All Blacks next visit Australia for a dead Bledisloe Cup rubber in Brisbane on October 20. Photo / Getty Images

It's not what the Wallabies want to hear but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen warns that his runaway Rugby Championship winners are improving.

"We are getting better," said Hansen after New Zealand survived a torrid opening half against South Africa at Soccer City to score 20 unanswered second-half points.

The All Blacks next visit Australia for a dead Bledisloe Cup rubber in Brisbane on October 20 then face Scotland, Italy, Wales and England on their end-of-season tour to Europe that begins early next month.

Facing the Springboks before a large, expectant crowd in the 90,000-seat football stadium near Soweto proved no problem for the world champions as they improved on a 10-point winning margin when the great rivals met in Dunedin last month.

"We know we have some very talented players, but so have a lot of other teams," said Hansen, who took over after last year's World Cup triumph.

"The difference between us and them is that we are perhaps getting our preparation right during the week and ensuring that our players have the best chance to perform on the Saturday."

Hansen admitted it had been challenging travelling from New Zealand to Argentina - where they ran in seven tries in a 54-15 romp - and then to South Africa.

Captain Richie McCaw said mental strength was a key factor as the All Blacks turned around an early 10-point deficit to make it 16 test wins in a row - one short of the record for a top-tier rugby nation.AAP

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