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Coach says All Blacks getting better

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Soweto

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All Blacks complete clean sweep

New Zealand have overcome a slow start defeating South Africa 32-16 to complete a clean sweep of the inaugural Rugby Championship.

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It's not what the Wallabies want to hear but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen warns his runaway Rugby Championship winners are improving.

"We are getting better," Hansen said after New Zealand survived a torrid opening half against South Africa at Soccer City to score 20 unanswered second half points for a 32-16 triumph and 16 Test victories in a row.

The All Blacks next visit Australia for a dead Bledisloe Cup rubber in Brisbane on October 20 then face Scotland, Italy, Wales and England on their end-of-season tour to Europe that begins in early November.

Steve Hansen congratulates scrum-half Aaron Smith after the All Blacks completed a 32-16 victory over South Africa.

Steve Hansen congratulates scrum-half Aaron Smith after the All Blacks completed a 32-16 victory over South Africa. Photo: Getty Images

Facing the Springboks before a large, expectant crowd in the 90,000-seat football stadium near Soweto proved no problem for the world champions as they improved on a 10-point winning margin when the great rivals met in Dunedin last month.

"We know we have some very talented players, but so have a lot of other teams," said Hansen who took over after last year's World Cup triumph.

"The difference between us and them is that we are perhaps getting our preparation right during the week and ensuring that our players have the best chance to perform on the Saturday."

Richie McCaw of the All Blacks is tackled by Ruan Pienaar. Click for more photos

All Blacks thrash Springboks

The All Blacks turned around a half-time deficit to run out easy winners of South Africa in Johannesburg. Photo: Getty Images

Hansen admitted it had been challenging travelling from New Zealand to Argentina - where they ran in seven tries in a 54-15 romp - and then to South Africa.

"We had to manage the players' workloads carefully," he said, offering a possible explanation as to why the visitors cancelled the traditional eve-of-Test captains' run at Soccer City on Friday.

Hansen said juggling with different time zones tested his staff and the players, but he believed the squad "trained smart".

Captain Richie McCaw said mental strength was a key factor as the All Blacks turned around an early 10-point deficit to make it 16 Test wins in a row - two short of the record for a top-tier rugby nation.

"We had the Rugby Championship sewn up last weekend, but the guys understood the challenge of coming to South Africa, and the need to back it up with another victory.

"There are a few guys in our squad who have been around a while and they ensured that we kept our edge. Our fuel tanks probably were not 100 per cent full coming into this game so it came down to mental desire."

South African coach Heyneke Meyer had no excuses.

"The All Blacks really are a quality team and I take my hat off to them, particularly Dan Carter for the way he controlled the game once they were ahead," he said.

"Until half-time we played the right type of game, placing them under pressure. The turning point came when they scored that try soon after the interval as we had to play catch-up.

"They are the best in the world at exploiting and capitalising on turnover ball, and that is what they did with devastating effect in this game."

AFP

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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Rugby World Cup 2015
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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