New Zealand head coach Hansen hits back at Gatland’s
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has voiced his opinion on New Zealand’s tackling tactics from the first test on Saturday and he was not happy as he reckons that Conor Murray was targeted through out.
On hearing these comments Steve Hansen was talking to a local radio station in New Zealand, Radio Sport, to call the Lions coach “desperate”.
Gatland laid out his frustrations in a recent press conference, calling on referees to offer greater protection to the Munster man with the All Blacks seemingly diving at Murray’s standing leg after he attempted to kick the ball on Saturday.
The All Blacks had a plan in place to block down Murray’s kicks then proceeded to follow through with their lunges to an extent that seemed unnecessary. There was one particular incident of this involving All black Jerome Kaino on Murray.
While this isn’t the first Murray has been targeted. Last season in Limerick he was targeted by Glasgow Warriors players as well on his kicks.
Speaking in the press conference Gatland said ‘I thought that’s a little bit dangerous, and after he’s kicked he’s been pushed a few times, pushed to the ground…So we’ll probably just get some clarity from the ref later in the week’.
In reply All Blacks coach Hansen said:
‘It’s predictable comments from Gatland, isn’t it?’
‘Two weeks ago it was we cheated in the scrums, last week it was blocking and now he’s saying this’.
‘It’s really disappointing to hear it, because what he’s implying is that we’re going out there to intentionally injure somebody and that’s not the case. I guess he might be a bit desperate’.
‘We’ve never been like that and as a New Zealander I’d expect him to know the Kiwi psyche’.