sport

Hansen hails special All Blacks

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen praised his side's display against arch-rivals Australia as they retained the Bledisloe Cup for a 12th successive year thanks to a 51-20 demolition job at Eden Park.

The world champions ran in six tries, two for captain Richie McCaw, with an intense performance of controlled fury borne out of the frustration of a poor outing last week in their 12-12 draw with the Wallabies in Sydney.

It was the highest score the All Blacks have ever posted against Australia in 151 Test matches, eclipsing the 50-21 victory they achieved in Sydney in 2003.

"It was a special performance," Hansen said as the 31-point winning margin exposed the gulf between the sides.

"I sensed that we were going to play a lot better than the week before, because we played so poor the week before and because we trained so very well. We managed to bring our A game tonight.

But the All Blacks coach felt they could have played even better and admitted that there were areas to work on after they return from their week off and begin preparations for their next Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Napier on September 6.

"There're parts of that game that weren't great. We let in some soft tries for a start and there was a lot of balls that we dropped at times when we had opportunities to score," he said.

"If we sit down and allow ourselves a wee moment of satisfaction tonight to enjoy the performance then it's back to work tomorrow."

Dejected Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie felt his side was outplayed throughout the 80 minutes.

"It doesn't matter which sector of the game, we didn't take control or dominate any of that so it was pretty disappointing. We can't sit here and pretend anything other than we didn't perform to our expectations," he said.