Gregor Paul

Gregor Paul is the Herald on Sunday's rugby writer

All Blacks: We need to get better - Hansen

All Black coach Steve Hansen didn't re-use his infamous "flush the dunny and move on" line last night but he must have been tempted.

Instead, as is the way of the head coach these days, he found a more eloquent - if less humorous - way to provide his perspective on the 23-13 victory.

"We are happy with the win," he said, "but obviously we are not happy with the performance. We know it was ugly at times. It was the first game [of the season] and we are working on a few things and when you do that, you make mistakes.

"We will try to get rid of the avoidable errors - of which I think there were about 25 - and refine what we do and I think we will get a better performance.

"While you can have training camps and put things on the white board that you think look really good, you are never going to know until you get real opposition."

The highlights for Hansen were the composure his side showed during the second half when the French had their line under siege. A series of scrums and pick-and-go drives were repelled by the All Blacks and there wasn't a hint of doubt.

"That was the piece I liked the most," said Hansen. "You can coach most things but composure comes from within and we had a young side that didn't panic."

The scrummaging was another plus and all the time there were hints and flashes, reckoned Hansen, but a serious lack of detail and accuracy left the All Blacks looking confused and erratic. Some of that confusion manifested itself - most noticeably in the midfield, where there were concerns about how easily Florian Fritz and Wesley Fofana were able to carve them up.

- Herald on Sunday

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