Hansen takes aim at social media warriors
WORLD CUP REACTION: All Black coach Steve Hansen strongly rejected the ‘trial by social media’ of his team.
His outburst came amid growing claims that match officials a number of missed alleged foul play incidents by New Zealand in their bruising battle with South Africa.
New Zealand skipper Kieran Read and prop Joe Moody have come under fire with screen grabs circulated on social media showing apparent cheap shots.
The outburst follows claims by the Springboks before last Saturday’s Test – won by New Zealand 23-13 – that referees tended to favour the reigning world champion All Blacks.
But the incidents were not seen by officials during the match nor raised afterwards by the citing commissioner and Hansen said that should be the end of the matter.
“You can go and get shots of anything you want to and create something,” said the coach, addressing the issue as the All Blacks landed in southern Oita to prepare for their next match against Canada.
“There’s a judicial system that’s been in place for a long time in rugby. We’re not judged by social media.”
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Hansen said the citing commissioner speaks to both teams after a match and asks if there were any issues they wanted to raise and neither he nor Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus had any problems and that’s where the matter ended.
“Social media is part of our society. I can’t worry about that. I can’t control what people put on it and I’m a great believer in that you worry about stuff you can control.
“What people decide to put on social media doesn’t bother me a hoot.”
Fiji is the only team to have raised an issue with the citing commissioner so far in the World Cup with Australia wing Reece Hodge to appear before the disciplinary committee on Wednesday for a no-arms tackle that left Peceli Yato concussed.
Australia coach Michael Cheika labelled the referral “disappointing” and said he would rather have had Fiji coach John McKee approach him directly rather than go “behind your back” to the citing commissioner.
McKee countered that Cheika seemed to have a different view of the “spirit of the game”.
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Watch Kieran Read. Nothing given. pic.twitter.com/MLqVgudSoD
— Patrick Murphy (@PM8490) September 21, 2019