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Hansen hails "sensational" Ireland

24th November 2013 18:52

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SKY_MOBILE Richie McCaw Steve Hansen New Zealand

Relieved: Steve Hansen

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen praised Ireland after a titanic struggle that concluded with his side winning 24-22 at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Ryan Crotty's late try brought the Kiwis level before Aaron Cruden sent the game-winning conversion over, seeing the visitors recover from 7-22 down.

That meant New Zealand won all fourteen of their international fixtures in 2013, but coach Hansen was quick to pay tribute to their impressive hosts.

"I'd like to compliment Ireland on a sensational performance, they rattled us and had us 15 points down.They were outstanding," said the coach.

"That wasn't in the script, that is for sure. However, I am very proud of the 23 guys who came from where they did and clawed their way over the line.

"It was special and is a great achievement. It has been a great year.

"However, we have a lot of work to do to stay where we are."

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