Hansen wary of 'confident' Wallabies

International
by Sam Phillips

The Dunedin Bledisloe showed the All Blacks they can't afford to slip up in the slightest against a "developing" Wallabies side, according to coach Steve Hansen.

The second Bledisloe clinched the treasured trophy for the 15th straight year but it also pushed the world's best side to their limit.

Now, before the two teams meet again at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, Hansen said Michael Cheika's side had shown signs of improvement in their matches against South Africa and Argentina.

"They keep developing and they are a confident side, aren't they?" Hansen said.

"They'll be disappointed they didn't knock the Boks over just as the Boks will be disappointed they didn't knock them over.

"They were two really good Test matches which ended up in a draw - which no one really wants - you always want a winner but they played well so they will be coming to Brisbane pretty confident, I would say."

The Bledisloe Cup is New Zealand's once more. Photo: Getty ImagesHansen denied the notion the All Blacks were caught by surprise when a wounded Wallabies outfit rolled into town in August but did say his team had trouble getting up for a return fixture seven days after putting together a convincing win.

"I think it's always difficult when you play someone and you beat them well the first time, to back that up," Hansen said.

"That's one of the hardest things in sport, I think, when you beat the opposition, you subconsciously, in your brain, ease off one or two percent.

"I don't think after the Dunedin Test we can afford to be one or two percent off.

"I think everyone is pretty excited about it and it's a great place to play."

The potential absence of Beauden Barrett, who is struggling with lingering effects of a head knock, could very well knock the visitors about but Hansen kept his cards close to his chest when asked about his star flyhalf.

Beauden Barrett is touch and go to turn out for the All Blacks on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images"He has been getting the odd headache," Hansen said.

"He has trained but afterwards he hasn't felt 100 (percent) so we will just see how he goes during the week and if he's not right he won't play.

"He will have to pass all the tests that we do as a team - on the night he passed the HIA but we always take the policy with head knocks that they're pretty serious things.

"I read somewhere today that we put him in cotton wheel after the Test match but I don't think it's about cotton wool, I think it's about making good decisions for the player and that's what we will do this week.

"If he's not right he won't play."

Should Barrett fail to get up, Crusaders playmaker Richie Mo'unga is in line for a potential debut.

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks on Saturday October 21 in the third Bledisloe clash, kicking off at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RUGBY.com.au.