New Zealand coach Steve Hansen praises England

Last Updated: 01/12/12 8:30pm

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Steve Hansen and Richie McCaw: Inquest starts after New Zealand defeat

Steve Hansen and Richie McCaw: Inquest starts after New Zealand defeat

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New Zealand coach Steve Hansen paid tribute to England after his side saw their 20-game unbeaten record ended by a 38-21 defeat at Twickenham.

It was England's first win over the All Blacks in nine years and their largest margin of victory over New Zealand, surpassing the 13 point gap achieved in a 13-0 win back in 1936.

Hansen said: "I'd just like to congratulate England on a tremendous performance.

"They thoroughly deserved their victory and they should be very proud of what they've achieved. I thought they played some magnificent football.

"This is sport and you have to accept it. We had 80 minutes to do our best but on this occasion we were beaten by a team who did better.

"To my own side, I'm very proud of what they've achieved. I know we've fallen over today, but once we get over the disappointment the boys should sit back and reflect on what they've done and done very well."

Skipper Richie McCaw said: "They caught us on the hop. It's bitterly disappointing. We struggled to get any sort of momentum and England played particularly well - credit to them.

"You're prepared for a big battle and that's the way it was, they caught us on the hop. It's disappointing but we'll be back another day."

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