25 Sep 2015

Frustration over stoppages vs Namibia

1:54 pm on 25 September 2015

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has expressed his frustration at the high number of stoppages in his side's 58-14 Rugby World Cup pool win over Namibia at London's Olympic Stadium.

Despite running in nine tries, it was far from the polished performance Hansen was looking for and it wasn't helped by the glacial pace of the game during a second half marred by scrum resets and reviews from the Television Match Official.

Namibia players leave the field as the All Blacks clap them off during their Rugby World Cup 2015 match at Olympic Park, London, UK. Thursday 24 September 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Namibia players leave the field as the All Blacks clap them off Photo: Photosport

Live blog: How it happened

The most glaring incident came after the sin-binning of Namibian prop Jaco Engels, when it took more than four minutes of game time for the ball to come out of a scrum, eventually resulting in a try to Ben Smith.

"It's very hard to play rugby when you have a stop-start game like that," Hansen said.

"We got a little frustrated but we got through that and it was a good learning curve for us.

"We've got to deal with it better than we did tonight anyway. I don't know how to fix it. That's what happens sometimes when you get opposition who are struggling to stay up and we're struggling to stay up and the game doesn't need it."

Beauden Barrett celebrates with Sam Cane after scoring his team's fourth try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia at the Olympic Stadium.

Sam Cane (R) celebrates with Beauden Barrett after the first-five scored his team's fourth try. Photo: Getty Images

First-time captain Sam Cane said he felt the same frustrations on the field and was unable to find a way to speed the game up.

Cane suggested some of the delay was deliberate on the part of the front-rowers.

"To be honest I didn't see what there was to do out there when the game is stop-start like that. It's a little bit frustrating because you just want to play some footy," Cane told reporters after the match.

The slow pace of the game helped the 20th-ranked Namibians in the second half, giving them plenty of chances to regain their breath and defend against the All Blacks' attacking onslaught.

However Hansen said he didn't think it was a tactic many other teams would try to adopt in the latter stages of the tournament.

But it's not only the All Blacks getting frustrated with the stoppages, with many of the 51,000-strong crowd heading for the exits with more than 10 minutes remaining in the match.

"When you get a game like tonight the goodwill probably goes out the door - and you get frustrated. I'm talking about the fans rather than us as players and coaches," Hansen added.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow is tackled by PJ Van Lill during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between New Zealand and Namibia.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow is tackled by PJ Van Lill. Photo: Getty Images

The All Blacks will spend a day in London recovering before travelling to Cardiff the following day to prepare for next Saturday's match against Georgia.

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