All Blacks Boss Hansen Not Happy With Springboks – “It’s Pretty Obvious What They’re Trying To Do,”
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All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has hit back at Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus and his comments about referee bias ahead of their mammoth Rugby World Cup clash Saturday.
Erasmus came out this week and said that the All Blacks have benefitted from referee decisions for a number of years because of their status in the game. But he says now that they are no longer number one, he expects a more level playing field.
“I think the gap between the teams has just shrunk so much. Because New Zealand were number one in the world for so long… they had so much respect on every level, even from referees, and I think that’s a well-known fact. In the tough times when teams were under the pump, some of the 50-50 calls went their [All Blacks’] way. They deserved that for being No1 for so long.” Erasmus said
“That preconceived idea that this team will beat this team, that’s gone. Now any team can beat any team.”
“Referees should be open-minded going into test matches, which they are at the moment.”
But speaking after his team announcement, Hansen has accused Erasmus of trying to put pressure on Jerome Garces who will take charge of their pool opener.
“It’s pretty obvious what they’re trying to do,” said Hansen.
“Whilst I’ve got a lot of respect for South Africa and particularly Rassie, I don’t agree with what he’s doing. He’s trying to put pressure on referees externally and they’re under enough pressure already. They don’t need us coaches doing what he’s doing.
“It doesn’t matter who your ref is. As a coach or a team, you can always find things after the game that they didn’t deal with. You can get emotional about that and think that they’re picking on you and not on the opposition. We’ve done it ourselves.
“At the end of the day, referees try to do the best they can do. Yes, they don’t always get it right all the time and we’ve suffered from that just like other teams have. It’s a big game, we just need to let the ref get on with it and prepare for it himself.”