New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen admitted that the All Blacks were 'rusty' in the Rugby Championship opening game against Argentina in Buenos Aires last weekend.
Hansen's men were pushed hard by Argentina as they held on to a 16-20 win despite not managing to score a single point in the second half but the situation does not concern the 60-year-old, who had rested sever players from first-team for the encounter.
“We found out a lot of things and most of those were positive so that was pleasing. We knew we would be a bit rusty and we were but the young guys we wanted to look at got an opportunity to play in a place like this which is difficult to play at any time and most of them put their hands up,” Hansen told Sky Sport.
“We’ll go away and look at it and grow from this and look forward to next week.”
“You take all the leadership out, and the experience that comes with the Crusaders boys, Owie’s [Franks] 100 Tests, Sammy’s [Whitelock] 100, Reado’s [Kieran Read] 100, there’s 300 Test matches of experience, plus all the other guys that have got plenty as well so to have the opportunity to have this group go through what they had today, it’s like winning the Lotto.”
The All Blacks wiill face South Africa and Australia in the final two rounds of the tournament on 27th July and 10th August respectively.