Hansen expecting tight final

Date published: October 30 2015

New Zealand and Australia both like to play attacking rugby but Steve Hansen admits the World Cup final will come down to the better defence.

Finals of the world's biggest competition have generally been tight affairs, with New Zealand winning the last final 8-7 against France.

New Zealand and Australia are the two highest-scoring teams in the tournament in terms of tries, but while All Black coach Hansen expects both teams to try to attack, he believes defence will decide the result.

"You’ve got two sides who are like-minded and want to play footy," said Hansen. 

"The pressure will be on but that won’t inhibit either one of them. Time has shown us that we’ll play to our own strengths. Given the conditions are ok I think we’ll see some running but whether that results in tries comes down to the defence."

He added: "We’re always looking to improve so the answer is no we haven’t seen the best yet. On Saturday? The opposition has a lot to say about that but we’ve had a good week, built day by day, and we’re immensely excited for tomorrow. 

"Win or lose we’ll put in a performance we can be proud of. If it’s not enough we’ll go away and see what we can do better. The group is in a good place and excited about what’s coming."