Saturday 3 December 2016

'You've replaced England as the new whingers of world rugby': New Zealand journalist slams 'ridiculous' Irish media

Published 23/11/2016 | 09:26

The fallout from Ireland's controversial clash with the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium has yet to abate, with a New Zealand journalist hitting out at the 'relentless and ridiculous' reaction from the Irish media to a number of physical New Zealand challenges.

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There have been a series of articles written by journalists from both countries in the aftermath of the All Blacks' 21-9 win, with each hemisphere seeming to draw different conclusions from the physical challenges in Saturday's encounter.

Read more: 'The shoe's on the other foot now': All Blacks hooker on Ireland's 'contradictory' stance on dangerous play

Today it was Fairfax Media journalist Duncan Johnstone's turn to weigh in, and he didn't hold back in his criticism of the Irish media.

He alleges that the Irish have become 'mightier than thou' since toppling the All Blacks for the first time in Chicago, adding that the 'whinging' from the Irish media has been both 'relentless - and ridiculous'.

"Sadly, it seems the Irish are the new whingers of World Rugby," Johnstone writes, in a column on Stuff.co.nz titled 'Control yourselves Ireland, you've replaced England as the new whingers of world rugby'.

"I've long admired the Irish attitude – Brian O'Driscoll aside at times, of course – and their open admiration for the All Blacks. But that seems to have changed since they beat the All Blacks in Chicago, ending 111 years of misery against New Zealand.

Read more: Fekitoa should have seen red for high tackle on Zebo

"Suddenly they are "mightier than thou"."

Johnstone contends that the All Blacks were merely exploiting the referee's leniency around certain issues rather than deliberately targeting Irish players.

Jaco Peyper opted to just penalise Sam Cane for a tackle on Robbie Henshaw that saw the centre leave the field in a stretcher, while Malakai Fekitoa was yellow carded for a high challenge on Simon Zebo.

"To suggest the All Blacks are dirty – and that's the only inference one can take from the vitriol that has emerged over the last few days – is an insult to the world's best team," he says.

"Even world rugby's judiciary seemed to agree. Yes they nailed a reckless Malakai Fekitoa but their dismissal of Sam Cane's alleged dangerous tackle was a victory for common sense.

"That probably won't silence the Irish disdain. If anything, get ready for a fever-pitched response of repulsion to the All Blacks flanker walking free."

Cane was cleared by the citing commissioner for his tackle on Henshaw, while Fekitoa was given a one week ban for the incident with Zebo, which will seem him miss the All Blacks' final game of their autumn tour against France in Paris.

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