AUCKLAND, June 9 (Reuters) - The All Blacks cannot afford to get “seduced” by their 52-11 victory over France in the first test as they need to do more work ahead of next week’s second match in Wellington, coach Steve Hansen said.
The All Blacks exploited a dubious 51st minute yellow card to France lock Paul Gabrillagues and ran riot with seven tries in the second half.
It was the fourth time the All Blacks had passed 50 points against France. Despite recording a 12th successive victory against Les Bleus, Hansen said they still needed to improve.
“We have just got to keep building our game,” Hansen said in a post-match interview. “The big thing for us is not to get seduced by the scoreboard. We have to keep our feet on the ground and work hard.”
The world champions had entered the match facing several question marks following a raft of injuries that had ruled out four senior players and kept others, including captain Sam Whitelock, out of action for the past month.
France were also under-prepared and under-strength for the match at Eden Park, but looked organised in defence and held an 11-8 lead at halftime.
The All Blacks, however, had appeared to have seized the momentum of the game in the final 10 minutes of the first half as they hammered away at the French line without success and Hansen said he felt that was crucial in the outcome.
“I thought the 10 minutes before halftime (were important),” he said. “We were trying to go through them rather than around them and once we started to do that and make them work a bit harder then we knew it would pay dividends later on.
“You have to respect (their defence). You can’t just go willy nilly all the time. You’ve got to work them around the field a bit and we managed to do that.
“At halftime we told them to keep doing what they were doing, be a little bit more accurate with the ball and in the second half we did that and the momentum swung our way.” (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)