Sean Fitzpatrick says Steve Hansen and his coaching team have done a superb job in their first season.
Last Updated: 01/10/12 4:45pm
Former New Zealand skipper Sean Fitzpatrick believes Steve Hansen and his coaching team have done an outstanding job in their first season after the All Blacks claimed the inaugural Rugby Championship.
The World Champions secured the title with a round still remaining after a comprehensive victory over Argentina in La Plata at the weekend.
They ran in seven tries in a 54-15 victory to make it five wins from five in the tournament following on from their Test series clean-sweep over Ireland.
After their final Rugby Championship clash with South Africa in Johannesburg next week, the All Blacks will seek to close out a perfect season on their end-of-season tour of the Northern Hemisphere.
It would represent a hugely impressive first year in full charge for Hansen, who succeeded Graham Henry as head coach following the All Blacks' World Cup triumph last October - and Fitzpatrick says New Zealand's display against the Pumas was indicative of Hansen's squad.
"Hansen and his fellow coaches have done an outstanding job right from the start of the season, right from the Irish series and then finishing off with this," he told Sky Sports. "They will be very happy tonight.
"It was a very professional and mature performance from an outstanding team, the best team in the Rugby Championship and the best team in the world.
"It was quite outstanding the way they executed and analysed the opposition. It was a classic example of the homework they put in in terms of breaking down the defence and scoring tries. They scored seven against a very good defensive outfit.
"The leadership from (Richie) McCaw and (Dan) Carter coming back in made a real difference. The bench was emptied and straight away (Aaron) Cruden just fitted in and that is what we have seen throughout the Championship - players coming in and out and there has not been a drop off in performance.
"Argentina did not play that badly. But the execution of the All Blacks was quite outstanding. I don't think that many teams would have lived with them in terms of the tempo and speed with which they play the game.
"Carter played well, (Ma'a) Nonu was outstanding, (Julian) Savea is coming of age so they will go away and say they have introduced some key players into this who take them through the next three or four years."