Wednesday 7 December 2016

WATCH: "Do you want me to tell you we're a dirty side?" - All Black boss Steve Hansen vehemently defends his players

Published 19/11/2016 | 20:25

Steve Hansen has defended his players conduct
Steve Hansen has defended his players conduct

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen was clearly unimpressed with Claire McNamara's line of questioning after his side avenged their defeat in Chicago with a 21-9 victory over Ireland at the Aviva.

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Joe Schmidt's side failed to convert a host of half-chances to add to the historic 40-29 win they achieved over New Zealand in the United States a fortnight ago, letting the All Blacks off the hook at the Aviva Stadium.

New Zealand had Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa sin-binned while conceding 14 penalties but still managed to escape with the win.

Centre Fekitoa plundered two tries to add to his yellow card, with world player of the year Beauden Barrett back on form to claim a score of his own.

Ireland boasted 67 per cent possession and 70 per cent territory, but only wound up with three penalty goals to show for it.

Speaking to RTE after the game, Hansen defended his side's approach to the game and completely refuted suggestions that his players had been over-zealous in their tackling.

Asked about the high penalty count, he said: "You always want the ref to be consistent so let's leave it at that."

Asked if there was a dangerous element to some of the tackles he added: "I don't think so, this is a moving game. The first one where we got penalised was a head clash.

"The one on the far side was obviously a little high and across the shoulder but I don't think there was any malice in it.

"Rugby is a shifting game when you've got ball carriers that move as well as the Irish do, they are going to change direction so people are going to sometime make mistakes and sometime people fall into tackles.

"The penalty count concerns me."

When he was pushed on the subject again, he said: "I'm not sure where you're going with this, do you want me to tell you we're a dirty side or something? Is that what you're saying?"

The response from McNamara was 'no' and he added: "Well, do you want to talk about something else now?"

Watch the interview in full below:

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