New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is expecting a sharpening of All Blacks’ attitudes in the wake of the side’s 21-24 loss to the British & Irish Lions in the second Test in Wellington on Saturday.
Speaking from Wellington, Hansen said the side would be well aware the three-Test series was on the line at the weekend in Auckland and the challenge was to prepare accordingly.
At the same time he said competition was good for the game and all involved because it forced every to have to improve.
“If we want to see our game continue to grow, to foster the things that it does in the way of camaraderie, to teach us lessons about life, good and bad, we have got to keep encouraging our game to be strong.
“The big thing about when you lose is that it’s painful isn’t it? It sharpens the mind, it sharpens the attitude. You look at things probably a little deeper than you normally do,” he said.
“We try to learn when we win, but in this case we had a side that beat us because on the day they were a little better than us.
“We have to acknowledge that and then go: ‘Okay, how can we be better than them?’ We’ll do that through the week, do our best to stay 15 on 15 and then see if we can get some strategies going,” he said.
Compared to some times in the past when losses resulted in an outpouring of vitriol, Hansen said New Zealand fans had improved in recent times and understood when things didn’t go right. The team had given everything they had, especially being down to 14 men for three-quarters of the game, and that was generally acknowledged.
“It’s when you lose and you feel like people haven’t turned up is when people get frustrated.
“Our guys turned up, they just didn’t get the job done,” he said.