MX23RW : Sunday, October 20 09:39:31| >> :600:268188:268188:
Oct 19, 2019 at 11.15am UK
New Zealand
46-14
Ireland
Smith (14', 20'), Barrett (32'), Taylor (48'), Todd (61'), Bridge (73'), Barrett (79')
FT
Henshaw (69'), Penalty (77')

Steve Hansen not thinking of quarter-final as last game

Steve Hansen not thinking of quarter-final as last game
© Reuters
Hansen has already announced he will step down as New Zealand head coach after the World Cup.

Steve Hansen insists will not let emotion cloud New Zealand's preparations for Saturday's showdown with Ireland despite the potential for it to be his final game in charge.

The back-to-back World Cup winners face Joe Schmidt's men in Tokyo as the knock-out stages of this year's competition get under way.

Like Schmidt and his Irish post, Hansen has already announced he will be standing down after the tournament following seven glory-filled years in All Blacks' top job.

Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 17, 2019

His side remain the overwhelming favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Cup but up against an Ireland side who have won two of their last three meetings, Hansen knows he could be looking at his final few days in a role he cherishes.

The 60-year-old, however, says the time for reflection will come once his team's fate has been dealt.

He said: "It'll affect me when it's finished. You haven't got any room to get gaa-gaa emotional. You're here to do a job.

"The team is bigger than the individual and it always has been.

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 16, 2019

"The jersey and legacy of the jersey demands you to be there giving 100 per cent of what you have. So you don't have time to think about yourself.

"When the tournament is over and whenever that is, that's when you step back and have a reflection and have a think about what's next and what life will be like. But at the moment it's not even in your mind."

Hansen has sprung a few surprises with his team selection for the match at the Tokyo Stadium, most notably selecting Brodie Retallick despite the Chiefs lock having just 30 minutes of this year's World Cup action under his belt.

Brodie Retallick will start against Ireland despite just 30 minutes of World Cup action
Brodie Retallick will start against Ireland despite just 30 minutes of World Cup action (David Davies/PA)

But Hansen insists the 78-cap veteran is ready to go.

"Brodie is a bit of a freak when it comes to fitness. He's got a big motor. He's got the ability to play after long or short breaks, he has put the work in," he said.

"There's no question mark about that. It's all about how long we have to, or want to play him.

"We are very fortunate that we have got a lad called Scott Barrett who is a very good player in his own right so we have the ability to inject some fresh legs into the game.

"Those fresh legs could be the difference makers. We are very fortunate with our bench. It's strong and has been for a long time. When you look at that experience on the bench it does give you a bit of confidence."

Nigel Owens will be the man in charge of Saturday's clash and Hansen is content with the Welshman's appointment as referee.

"You have to watch out for his sense of humour – he's pretty good with the one-liners," joked the All Blacks head coach.

"I think you're focusing on the wrong things if you're worrying about the referee.

Nigel Owens will be the man in the middle for the World Cup quarter-final clash in Tokyo
Nigel Owens will be the man in the middle for the World Cup quarter-final clash in Tokyo (Ashley Western/PA)

"He has his idiosyncrasies. We know about them, Ireland know them but what I like about Nigel is that he has shown over the years that he is good under pressure. This will be a big-pressure game and we're happy we have got him for this occasion. We will adapt and adjust as we go.

"Ireland are tenacious. They play a structured game that they know they're good at. They don't wander too far off the script and they're not a team that give you a lot of opportunities through mistakes and they're pretty good at keeping the ball.

"When they kick it they kick it to put pressure on your rather than give you a free shot so you just have to adapt and adjust with what is happening in the game. We have made a lot of changes since we last played them, so we'll see how it goes."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Steve Hansen

Click here for more stories about New Zealand

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Johnny Sexton in action for Ireland on September 22, 2019
Read Next:
Johnny Sexton confident Ireland on course to peak against New Zealand
>

Premier League
Rugby World Cup
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Scottish Premiership
League One
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swiss Super League
Danish Superliga
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
MLS Playoffs
Brasileiro
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Australian A-League
Chinese Super League
Gallagher Premiership
NFL

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!