Hansen: It wasn't perfection
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen claimed he never expected perfection after watching his side extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches by winning a seven-try thriller against Australia on Saturday.
The reigning world champions - hit by injury ahead of the third Test - prevailed 41-33 in a high-scoring Dunedin encounter to complete a Bledisloe Cup whitewash over the Wallabies.
Despite the scoreline looking comfortable for the All Blacks at the climax, it was a much closer game with the hosts leading 30-19 at the break before Australia took the second half 14-11.
After an outstanding performance to clinch the Rugby Championship against South Africa two weeks ago, the All Blacks would have wanted to repeat their high standards but coach Hansen believes there were too many errors.
"It wasn't perfect but we really didn't expect it to be from where we've been and what we've done in the last three weeks," he said.
"Maybe we let a couple of soft ones in but at the end of the day it's a lot better than last year," Hansen said in reference to the 18-18 draw with Australia in the 2012.
Australia started in buoyant fashion following their 54-17 mauling of Argentina but confidence soon eroded as the All Blacks converted chances into points with relative ease, leaving Wallabies captain James Horwill "bitterly disappointed".
"We came here to win," he said. "We never like to lose but we're proud of the effort the guys put in.
"We were always trying to win the game no matter what the scoreboard was and we went down swinging and that's the commitment of the group."
It is now 12 years and 16 Tests since the Wallabies last beat the All Blacks in New Zealand, and scrum-half Will Genia admits New Zealand are the benchmark everyone must reach.
"It's hard," he said. "They turn up week in, week out, emotionally, mentally, physically always on the money and any little lapse in concentration they're very clinical and they score points against you."
The All Blacks won the first two Bledisloe Tests in August before completing their retention of the Cup, played annually between the two countries, for the 11th consecutive year.
If the All Blacks are to achieve their goal of an unbeaten season they must now beat Japan, France, England and Ireland on their November tour.