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Steve Hansen hails All Blacks' mental strength after beating France

Last Updated: 10/11/13 8:33am

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Steve Hansen: Hailed the mental strength of his All Blacks side after they beat France

Steve Hansen: Hailed the mental strength of his All Blacks side after they beat France

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New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has praised his side's mental strength following their 26-19 success over France on Saturday.

The All Blacks had to see out the closing stages under pressure at the Stade de France courtesy of full-back Brice Dulin's converted try with 10 minutes to go.

French centre Wesley Fofana came within a whisker of scoring a last-gasp try only for New Zealand replacement scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow to make the tackle.

The victory meant New Zealand overcame France for an eighth successive match while the southern hemisphere side are also unbeaten in Test matches this year.

"They had to show some real resilience, composure and patience. The French turned up to play and played particularly well," said Hansen.

Mental strength

"That's why they call it a test match. It's a test of your resolve, your mental strength. Everyone writes them off and that's when they're at their most dangerous."

The Tricolors proved much tougher than in June, when they lost all three tests in New Zealand, but they have still won only once this year, against Scotland in March.

"We caused New Zealand a lot of problems. We will have to keep working hard and keep our heads held high," said coach Philippe Saint-Andre.

"If we carry on like this then there will be better days ahead. It's the small details. At the highest level, you get punished for these small mistakes.

"We had prepared to beat them and the dressing room is sad, because all the ingredients were in place. But we lacked precision."

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