Rugby: 'Unbelievable' humidity is no sweat for All Blacks

New Zealand's Beauden Barrett (right) and his brothers Jordie Barrett and Scott Barrett line up before the match between New Zealand and Canada at the Oita Stadium in Japan on Oct 2, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

OITA (AFP) - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said on Wednesday (Oct 2) he was "pretty happy" with his team's 63-0 hammering of the Canada, despite even mighty New Zealand committing some handling errors in "unbelievable" humidity.

New Zealand scored nine tries against lowly-ranked Canada and Hansen called on his team to replicate the form shown in the first 20 minutes of the second half, when they ran in four in nine minutes.

"We've just got to take that first 20 minutes of the second half, and turn it into 80 minutes. If we can do that, we won't be too far away," Hansen said after the game which keeps them top of Pool B.

During that period, the team "really came together and played good, controlled rugby", he said.

"In really difficult conditions, the humidity is unbelievable and whilst people at home will be wondering why we dropped a few balls, it's very, very difficult," Hansen added.

While New Zealand did fumble more balls than usual under the roof at the Oita Stadium, there were still fewer mistakes than other teams such as France, who struggled to keep control in their 33-9 defeat of the United States.

"It was bloody tough in the humidity under this roof. It was a certainly a tough game," said captain Kieran Read.

"As you can probably tell, you were dripping wet as soon as you went out to start the game. So, it was a little bit difficult but it's obviously something to work on and you know you're going to get those conditions," said the captain.

The Canadian coach said he was "really proud" of his team, who "fought to the end".

"The way we dug in the last 20 minutes, I'm proud of the guys. They showed true Canadian grit. Every one of them can look themselves in the mirror and be proud of their performance tonight," said Kingsley Jones.

He admitted though there was still plenty for his side to work on, especially the line-out, before another tough battle against the Springboks on Oct 8.

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