No one required a degree in anthropology to read All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's mood yesterday.

It was obvious that he'd spent the morning delivering a few home truths to a young and inexperienced side whom he suspects spent the first half hour of their previous test believing their own hype.

His body language, tone, demeanour and mood conspired to suggest that the usual Monday morning post-match debrief had contained more stick than carrot.

While he was proud of the way the All Blacks saved the second Bledisloe test so late in the piece, he wasn't so impressed by the hole his side had dug for themselves in the first half hour.


If they hadn't been so loose, so inaccurate and so casual in the first half hour in Dunedin, they wouldn't have needed the miracle escape.

Everyone else can bask in the glory of that magnificent test: celebrate the way the All Blacks found so much composure and clinical edge in the last three minutes to win an epic encounter 35-29, but Hansen and his management team can't.

Their focus falls on the micro more than it does macro and poking around in the detail hasn't made for a happy All Blacks coaching team.

They simply can't ignore the fact that the All Blacks found themselves 17-0 down in as many minutes. And they certainly can't pretend that the All Blacks weren't the architects of those first three Wallabies tries.

Australia played well, they showed courage, resilience, flair and defensive tenacity bordering on heroics to get within three minutes of an unexpected victory, but they were given a massive leg up in those first 20 minutes.

Damian McKenzie threw an intercept pass to Israel Folau for the first try; Kieran Read slipped off a straightforward tackle on Michael Hooper for the second and Aaron Smith stood back to let Will Genia run from the base of a disintegrating scrum rather then bury the Wallaby halfback miles behind the gainline.

Three big mistakes led to 17 points for the Wallabies which could have been 21 had Bernard Foley not been unusually wild off the tee.

The conclusion that Hansen reached is that some of the individuals involved didn't prepare as well for that test as they needed to.


Since he graduated to the top job in 2012, Hansen has become renowned for his conviction that preparation is everything.

He famously coined the phrase "bone deep" as a measure of how deep preparation had to be, and it would be apparent without him having said so much directly, that he doesn't feel enough of the team did that ahead of the Dunedin test.

He doesn't want to risk the same mistake being made this week so it's a good guess he let that fact be known to the players. The nature of the late escape in Dunedin could convince a few younger sorts that they don't need to ask questions or appropriately review their overall performance.

It could encourage a false sense of security and lull some players into thinking they ticked all the right boxes ahead of the second Bledisloe.

Hansen presumably provided a not so gentle reality check about what life at this level looks like and requires.

"It's a big opportunity for us this week to really get our preparation right individually and grow ourselves to become better players, become better in our mini units and better as a team," said Hansen.

"We probably haven't nailed that so far this year so this is a great opportunity for us to play an opposition who are physically up for it. If we get Sunday to Friday right we will always give ourselves a good opportunity to play well.

"We know success is a lousy teacher so we have got to start learning better about our Sunday to Friday routines and habits so we can get better and stronger and keep advancing our performances and not getting complacent and not getting comfortable."