Hansen looking for a better performance

Date published: September 23 2015

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New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is looking for a better performance from his charges when they run out against Namibia on Thursday.

The All Blacks were made to work hard during their 26-16 win in their opening Rugby World Cup fixture against Argentina.

The Los Pumas disrupted the defending world champions' flow and looked exciting with the ball in hand before they ran out of depth in the final 20 minutes of the match. 

Hansen is expecting and improved performance when his teams runs out for the first time against the Tier 2 nation at the Olympic Stadium in London.

"We have a line in the sand as far as the game against Argentina goes," said the head coach.

"The group going out on Thursday have to change that line to a higher performance level. It does not matter who we are playing. That's our focus. We will give Namibia total respect because that's what they deserve as another playing nation. Rugby is a funny thing and sport is a funny thing. If you don't prepare properly then you can get a hiding."

Hansen also heaped praise on Namibia's stand-out player, captain Jacques Burger. The Windhoek-born player has earned 100 caps for Saracens and has a reputation as one of the toughest tacklers in the competition.  

"He is a pretty special player," said Hansen of the loose forward.

"I think last tournament he was in the top five so to be able to do that in a team that was not always going forward as a loose forward, you have to be pretty good. He is totally committed. 

"If you are going to be in his part of the park and you are carrying the ball then you'd better get ready to get smashed. You have to admire that in him. He has been around a long time so you have to admire his ability to stick around."

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