Hansen: SANZAAR officials lack consistency
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: New Zealand Super Rugby teams’ penalty count is far from a concern for All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.
Over this past weekend, Crusaders and Hurricanes conceded 13 penalties each, while the Highlanders were penalised 12 times compared to Lions’ 3 during their defeat.
This is not the first time, the leading-franchise Crusaders were in trouble when it comes to penalties. The previous week, they conceded 12 penalties during their 45-8 win over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
For many coaches, this will be a massive concern leading up to the World Cup, however, for Hansen that’s far from the case.
Instead, the coach criticized SANZAAR’s officials for the lack of consistency in their application.
According to the All Blacks official website, the coach said: “A lot of the penalties are right, but they’re not consistent on both sides.
“I don’t know any team that’s only given six penalties away in three games so I would say there’s not enough consistency in what they’re seeing.
“I’m not saying the penalties they are giving are not right, I’m saying they’re obviously missing a few.”
One area where the Kiwi teams are really vulnerable is scrum time.
Just a few weeks ago the Crusaders tried to correct their flawed scrums by bringing in All Blacks scrum guru Mike Cron.
“Some sides don’t want to engage, they’re scrummaging for penalties and it’s very tough for the referee to actually see who is not engaging and who is pushing over the mark.
“From the naked eye, it is easier to see that I’ve pushed over the mark rather than you not engaging so we’ve got to help them in that area. We’ve had a chat to them about looking at the No.8 and if he is not pushing his team in then they’re not engaging.
“Most referees have got to use their ARs [assistant referees] to have a look at the whole picture rather than just the front picture,”
He added: “If that’s a penalty today then it’s a penalty for the whole day not just part of the day,” he said.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) May 20, 2019