Hansen defends All Blacks lock after Cheika outburst

28 August, 2017, 01:16 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • All Blacks honour former great Colin Meads

It was a freaky start to the Test with the kick-off delayed 10 minutes because of problems re-adjusting the lights after they were dimmed during a pre-match tribute to Meads.

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has defended Brodie Retallick for an apparent tip tackle in Saturday's tense Test against Australia, but refused to get involved in a war of words with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

Belted in last year's opener, Australia took a physical approach into the second Test in Wellington and tried to get under the skin of the world champions.

"Number one that I can say, that was clear to everyone, is that Retallick picked up one of our blokes and put him on his head".

That staggering stat was only matched by the Wallabies worst Test performance in being behind 54-6 at ANZ to turn in one of their best in the Dunedin Test to lead 17-nil in 14 minutes, lost the lead three times, but fought back to lead 29-28 with four minutes to go. I was pretty pleased with the game and just some of the improvements in some of the areas that we wanted to work on.

They also varied their ball-in-hand game at times, astutely hoisting contestable high kicks at diminutive All Blacks fullback Damien McKenzie and also slowed the game down when it suited against a team which thrives on high-paced rugby.

Hooper said, "We found out this morning". He's put his arm through his legs, picked him up, and it's a free pass.

"It's just as well he [Hanigan] didn't break his neck", an emotional Cheika said.

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See: Trump Today: President blames McConnell and Ryan for debt ceiling 'mess.' The men reportedly have not spoken in two weeks. Stocks were off on Wednesday morning, in what was widely described as a selloff because of fears of a government shutdown.

Midway through the half the hit-back finally came when Rieko Ioane sliced through from a clever inside ball from Aaron Smith.

Rugby in Australia is in disarray both on field and off and Read was wary of the potential for Michael Cheika's men to try to throw the hosts off their game with some niggle.

The All Blacks stole victory courtesy of a last-gasp Beauden Barrett try.

The All Blacks conceded a huge amount of points very quickly and I've written before about how they have the team and individual discipline and a belief that they will never concede defeat regardless of how dire the situation.

Cheika said the Wallabies have to remind them why they love the game.

New Zealand kept their foot on the pedal and made sure of it when they got back into Wallabies territory again soon after, with Barrett finding a soft spot on the blind a beating two defenders to the line to give the home side their first lead.

"New Zealand were too good tonight and the pressure they applied both sides of halftime was fantastic".

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