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Tue 10 Sep 2019 | 05:05

All Blacks were 'disrespectful'

All Blacks were 'disrespectful'
Tue 10 Sep 2019 | 05:05
All Blacks were 'disrespectful'

REACTION: Steve Hansen has faced a backlash following his decision to take Ryan Crotty off for the final 15 minutes of the All Blacks’ game against Tonga at the weekend and play with 14 men.

New Zealand were leading the game 92-0 at this point, so Hansen used this as an opportunity to experiment. Tonga actually scored a try in this period making the final score 92-7.

Since then, some former players and pundits have questioned this decision by Hansen and suggested that this showed a lack of respect to Tonga. Likewise, many fans seem to be of the same opinion, and have accused the World Cup-winning coach of arrogance and disrespecting his opponent. This is not something that is seen in Test rugby, and while the game was wrapped up, it has still been seen as condescending and unfair on the fans that have come to watch the game.

Conversely, there are those that support Hansen’s decision, and have questioned why it was disrespectful, as it is ultimately about testing his players. The purpose of these warm-up tests is to ensure that the team is at full capacity and prepared when it comes to the World Cup in under two weeks, and playing with 14 men is something that the All Blacks may encounter at some point during the tournament. Had Hansen decided to do this during a World Cup match, then that is different and would be seen as arrogant.

Moreover, Crotty is returning from injury after missing the entire Rugby Championship, so this offered a chance to rest a player and test out his team.

This is what has been said:

Hansen’s decision may have been inspired by the events that unfolded during the Rugby Championship, namely the red card to Scott Barrett against Australia in Perth.

The All Blacks had to play the entirety of the second-half with 14 men, and ending up slumping to a record 47-26 loss to their rivals.

There is no better way to prepare for such a scenario in the World Cup than creating the same situation in the warm-up tests, and it could pay off in Japan.

By Josh Raisey, @RugbyPass

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All Blacks Were 'disrespectful' - New Zealand | Rugby365