Hansen returns to New Zealand next month, and his players gave him a perfect send-off with a six-try hammering of the Italians who had provided the lowest point of the Kiwi's two-year reign in Rome last season. Flying wingers Shane and Rhys Williams each bagged a try double, with the second-biggest cheer of the day going to Millennium Stadium favourite Gareth Thomas when he broke Ieaun Evans's Wales try scoring record with his thrity-fourth Test try in the second half.
The biggest cheer, though, was saved for Hansen, who made a brief appearance on the field at fulltime to wave to the applauding and appreciative fans, who began chanting "Steve! Steve!"
"It's a special time and it's always nice to know that people care," he said. "Having said that, if we'd been beaten, they would have been booing, so you can't get too carried away!"
While the Williams flyers and Gareth "Alfie" Thomas were getting all the plaudits, Hansen had a word for a young lock.
"I think Michael Owen showed what a special player he is today," he said. "He did a couple of brilliant things and he's going to be an outstanding player. It was really important to go out and perform, and the way they did it was fantastic. I think it's exciting for the players, the sponsors and the fans.
"There's no doubt I've made mistakes in my time here, but I'd like to think we have learnt from them. We wanted to instil a professional attitude into a group of players and we've done it."
Italy Coach John Kirwan was gutted by his side's surrender.
"We were pretty average out there," he said. "It was our worst performance of the RBS Six Nations. I think it's growing pains, unfortunately. Mentally, we're still a little immature, and although it really hurts, it's something we have to go through to get better.
"They just cut us up out there. I think Wales were quite outstanding at times and they played some exciting rugby, but we didn't help ourselves with our missed tackles and turnovers. I think we were caught up in the hype of today's game, and I'm very disappointed with the result."