New Zealand are not finished article yet - Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen wants New Zealand to improve further
Steve Hansen wants New Zealand to improve further

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen insisted that the All Blacks are not a finished unit yet despite a resounding victory over Samoa at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.

The back to back World Champions ran a 12-try riot as they warmed up for the Lions series with a 78-0 victory. Ardie Savea scored a double for All Blacks while Beauden Barrett contributed with 24 points including a couple of touchdowns for Hansen's men.

However, the onslaught from New Zealand did not come without a sluggish start where Samoa had the majority of possession in the first 10 minutes. Hansen pointed out the lack of match practice as the reason for the slow beginning to the game.

"The execution went better as the night went on and I wouldn't have thought we were that good at the 20-minute mark, and that's what we expected.

"There was a fair amount of rust and lack of cohesion at times but, as the night went on, their rhythm and connections got better and not a bad hit out for the first one.

"We have been in these situations before and been a lot rustier than that so it was a nice start. It sounds like everyone is pretty good so that's a massive bonus.

"Are we the finished unit yet? Of course we're not. We know that and we have a lot of work to do. And we look forward to watching the Maoris go into the Lions tomorrow night (Saturday) and we get our chance the following Saturday."

Meanwhile, Ben Smith, who captained New Zealand for the first time urged for more improvement in set-pieces before they lock horns with British and Irish Lions in the first Test in Auckland in a week's time.

"We will look at them for next week,' Smith said. "I'm sure the forwards will go away and have a good look at scrums. That's not my domain but I'm sure they will know a bit more.

"We had to do the basics really well to execute tonight and when we did that, that is when we profited and scored some good tries. We talked about that (earlier in the week).

"It just shows the impact that they (the replacements) bring and it's part of the squad. They come on and really pick up the tempo and bring a lot of energy to our game."