JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - New Zealand are expected to win every test match and will be looking to beat hosts South Africa on Saturday even if they have clinched this year’s Rugby Championship, their coach Steve Hansen said on Monday.
New Zealand’s 35-17 triumph over Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday ensured another southern hemisphere championship for the All Blacks but that will not lead to any slackening of against the Springboks in Pretoria.
“It’s not about anything other than having to win," Hansen told reporters. "The expectations are that we win every test match and we’ve got to win them well, so nothing will change for us.
“We are going to prepare well and be in a frame of mind on Saturday that allows us to present ourselves the best we can,” Hansen told reporters.
New Zealand have won four of five games in this year’s Rugby Championship but were upset 36-34 by South Africa in their last home match in Wellington.
It was a rare loss in the Rugby Championship where the world champions have won or shared the title for the last 16 years.
Since Argentina joined Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in an expanded competition in 2012, the All Blacks have lost only three of 38 tests.
“People get carried away because we win it all the time and think it’s not competitive but I’ve always thought it competitive,” Hansen said.
“It’s just fine margins sometimes and we’ve usually been on the right side of those,” he added.
Saturday is the last round of competition in this year's Rugby Championship.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)