Saturday 24 February 2018

One New Zealand media outlet has accused RTE reporter of trying to 'trap' Steve Hansen

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen greets Rob Kearney after the match. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen greets Rob Kearney after the match. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

It was a bruising, bloody war at the Aviva Stadium as New Zealand gained revenge on Ireland and bulldozed their way to a 21-9 win over Ireland.

All Blacks pair Sam Cane and Malakai Fekitoa have since been cited for dangerous tackles in a match referee Jaco Peyper "failed to police", according to Irish Independent columnist Alan Quinlan.

The nature of the game and the extreme physicality left many questions, questions that journalists were only too willing to ask in the Aviva Stadium following 80 minutes of robust action.

RTE's Clare McNamara was first to pose the questions for New Zealand boss Steve Hansen and, like any journalist does, she pushed for Hansen's opinion on some of the main talking points from the match.

Asked about the high penalty count, Hansen 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?"

McNamara did her job and, arguably, Hansen did his in taking the heat away from the issue.

While the New Zealand media reaction was generally one of relief, the New Zealand Herald opted to focus on McNamara and reports that Hensen claimed some sort of 'win' in their post match exchange in an article entitled 'Meet Claire McNamara, the woman who took on Steve Hansen'.

McNamara is described as an experienced reporter who "is famed for an interview earlier this year with leading Gaelic hurling coach Davy Fitzgerald".


The New Zealand Herald adds: "Fitzgerald begins the interview with the same stony-faced grimace Hansen was wearing after New Zealand's 21-9 victory over the Irish on Sunday morning.

"But that's where the similarities end. McNamara wore down Fitzgerald - Hansen sent her to Coventry."

It's worth noting that the same questions were asked in a packed press room later on. Hansen, faced with much larger numbers, didn't "send anyone to Coventry" on this occasion.

You can read the full article here

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