New Zealand's Malakai Fekitoa on his way to scoring against Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
New Zealand's Malakai Fekitoa on his way to scoring against Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Brian Lawless

Hansen bristles at questions over refereeing in NZ win

RUGBY UNION: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has clashed verbally with an Irish television interviewer after taking offence at her inference New Zealand was a "dirty side”.

Hansen bristled during a sideline interview with Irish television's Claire McNamara at Dublin's Aviva Stadium following New Zealand's 21-9 win over Ireland, which drew the countries' mini series.

McNamara quizzed Hansen about the 14 penalties the All Blacks gave away.

He replied: "You always want the ref to be consistent so let's leave it at that.”

But McNamara pressed further, asking if there was a dangerous element to some of the tackles.

Hansen said: "I don't think so, this is a moving game. The first one where we got penalised was a head clash.

"The one on the far side was obviously a little high and across the shoulder but I don't think there was any malice in it.

"Rugby is a shifting game when you've got ball carriers that move as well as the Irish do, they are going to change direction so people are going to sometimes make mistakes and sometimes people fall into tackles.

"The penalty count concerns me.”

But McNamara kept coming at him and Hansen reacted when he was pushed on the subject again.

"I'm not sure where you're going with this, do you want me to tell you we're a dirty side or something? Is that what you're saying?” he said.

The response from McNamara was "no” and he added: "Well, do you want to talk about something else now?”

APNZ



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