Hansen turns pressure on ref

2011-10-13 10:47

Auckland - New Zealand assistant coach Steve Hansen has ratcheted up the pressure on referee Craig Joubert to prevent a free for all at the breakdown in this weekend's Rugby World Cup semi-final with Australia.

Hansen was critical on Thursday of Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence's officiating of the rucks, where Wallaby openside flank David Pocock dominated, during Australia's gripping 11-9 quarter-final win over defending champions South Africa last weekend.

Lawrence has copped considerable stick, particularly from South Africa, over his performance, but New Zealand are wary of Pocock's mastery in foraging for turnover ball.

South African official Joubert will control Sunday's semi-final at Eden Park and Hansen said it was important for the crucial breakdown battle to be adjudicated in line with rugby's rules.

"Joubert's pretty good (refereeing the breakdown), but how he's going to do it on Sunday, we don't know," Hansen told reporters.

"He's human and he'll make decisions based on what he thinks he's seeing and it's pretty clear what you're allowed to do, but you get variation every week, don't you?"

Hansen joined in criticism of Lawrence's performance in Wellington where Pocock played a decisive role in a backs-to-the-wall win over the Springboks.

"I would say that Bryce (Lawrence) is probably a little disappointed with how he did it last week," he said.

"I think Bryce was (a bit lenient). You're not allowed to go off your feet at the breakdown and you're not allowed to hang on to the ball after the ruck is formed and let it go."

Pocock's battle with the All Blacks' champion number seven Richie McCaw will be one of the intriguing sub-plots of Sunday's showdown to decide a place in the October 23 final.

In contrast to Hansen, Wallabies' coaching co-ordinator David Nucifora had no issues with Lawrence's officiating last weekend.

"I thought the referee did a fine job, no problem from where we were sitting, I thought it was consistent for both teams," he said.

And in a parting barb, Nucifora added: "I'm sure Steve (Hansen) has seen enough of number sevens (McCaw) pushing the boundaries, he knows how it works."

Hansen said the All Black players were not the only ones feeling the mounting pressure of what was at stake.

"Everyone feels pressure, it's how you react to it that's the key and we're really excited and looking forward to the challenge of the semi-final, it doesn't get any bigger," Hansen said.

"So as long as you can walk towards the pressure then you are in control of it, it's not in control of you.

"We have a group of players who are really excited about what's coming up.

"I like to say 'do' rather than 'die'. It's a massive game clearly, and the winner gets to carry on."

Hansen said it was up to the team's senior players to rally round Aaron Cruden, the All Blacks' third fly-half of the World Cup following tournament-ending injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade.

"We have a simple game plan so it's not too hard to learn it and it's just a matter of understanding it," he said.

"When Carter got injured the guys around Cruden and Slade just had to stand up and do a little bit extra.

"It's not Aaron Cruden who has to do the extra bit.

"Your top players in the big games have to play as top players, you can't afford them not to be world-class, and that'll be what it is like on Sunday."


  • Airborne68 - 2011-10-13 11:08

    Nucifora is in denial. Who wants to brag about such a hollow win?

      Cire - 2011-10-13 11:27

      Remember the Wales/SA game when Wales were robbed by a blatantly incorrect decision - a penalty that was clearly good being ruled out? Another hollow win? Never heard any SA fans weeing in their pants and spitting the dummy after that - did we? However, the really BIG lesson for SA was the totally sporting attitude of the Welsh in accepting what had happened. It could have ended their world cup but they took it without bitching and whining! Draw your own conclusions!

      Andre - 2011-10-13 11:35

      To Cire, being robbed by 1 blatant bad decision is one thing but to be robbed by 29 is another, that is why we are weeing in our pants and spitting the dummy.

      Airborne68 - 2011-10-13 11:50

      Again I say Cire. Had the points been awarded for the penalty, the game would have restarted from the halfway line. Who knows what would have happened then? It would have been a totally different outcome.

      Jim - 2011-10-13 12:13

      Airborne68, do you mean like the England try that was disallowed in the 2007 world cup final that prevented England becoming the first team to defend its title.Didn't here any squealing then.

      Big Al - 2011-10-13 12:18

      To Cire. That was not a quarter final but a pool match. Wales still had a good chance to get through which, to their credit, they did. If they had played instead of the Boks against Australia plus Ars#hole Lawrence they would be bitching just as much.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-10-13 12:19

      @Cira...who said it was a blatantly bad decision? 2 assistant refs right under the posts judged that it did not go over and the TV re-plays were not exactly helpful!

      Thad - 2011-10-13 12:27

      Jim, firstly it wasn't a try. His foot thouched the line. Period. Secondly, it would not have made a difference. One or two bad decisions from a ref in a game is understandable, but like Andre said, not 29.

      Sakkie Van de Spuy - 2011-10-13 12:37

      @Cire - All you see is a 2D picture from behind the kicker. Eg. If you kick from one side of the field to the other side and it crosses the poles, looking at the poles, at some point the ball, might look that it went over the poles. You clearly do not have any understanding of time, 3D and ball flight principles. 2 additional referees indicated that the ball did not go over. Furthermore, if a ball crosses directly over the pole, IT IS NOT IN. Based on all this, it is reasonable to believe that the ball did not go over. How many other bad calls influenced the Wales/SA game? Were there a few in Wales favour? The total (boht sides) will not even be a 1/4 of the bad calls in teh QF the Springboks received. Please get real. @Jim. Are you kidding me. Somehwere I still have the pictures clearly showing that the England wings foot touches the line before the scores. let me repeat this: )touching the line is out". Making up this type of "bad calls" to justify 40 bad calls in the QF by Lawrence is ridiculous. @whoever, who will be quoting the AB bad call of 2007. Yes, I agree, that was a bad call, in fact, if I remember correlcy there was 2 forward passes whihc was allowed. But this was 2 bad calls, and the AB's was not as dominant, being 78% in the France side. This is not nearly close the the same situation inthe QF between SB and Ausies.

      Craig - 2011-10-13 12:38

      At Jim. Seeing as it seems your memory needs a refresh. Here is a pic for you: Note: A player touching the line is classified as OUT. So come up with another one. And also remember the Video ref was also called to decide this.

      Airborne68 - 2011-10-13 13:27

      @Jim. On the contrary, the English team squealed like stuck pigs! This for something which was clearly not a try.

      flat bier - 2011-10-13 14:31

      This weekend we will see the cheats of world rugby battle it out. What a great advertisement for rugby.

      FJ2 - 2011-10-13 14:51

      It's hard when something like Bryce Lawrence happens to you, but still, you have to adapt to the referee and we did not. Will be really nice if referees will sit down and talk about rule interpretations and then actually stay with what's been decided, so that players don't have to adapt from game to game. Let's stop whingeing about Lawrence now. We lost a game of rugby and we're out of the World Cup. There will be another chance. Nobody died.

      Storm Bru - 2011-10-13 17:27

      Hey Cire, Dick!! We were all aware how well Wales played and that they were the better team and we should have lost. But Wales had a straightforward penalty and a drop goal and did not take their chances. You are talking about one decision while SA had numerous bad ones we all lost count. We lost and we have accepted it and moved on but poor refereeing must be exposed and Mr Lawrence has been bad for so long how long will it take for the IRB to wake up! Want to see mourning, wait and see if NZ lose and then you will see bitching and moaning like never. And if you noticed the SA team took it well and did not complain about the ref, so open your eyes and ears a little.

  • Shadowfax - 2011-10-13 11:22

    I must say I’m a huge Nucifora fan. No one could beat the Auckland Blues until he became their coach. I think he should be the next AB coach then my son’s high school team will be able to beat them.

  • Zandberg - 2011-10-13 11:25

    Im so looking forward to a SA ref teaching Pocock exactly what he did wrong in the previous game. Im sure Joubert will handle the game to the letter of the law, which automatically takes Pocock, and for that matter McCaw, out of the game. Good luck Graig.

      marthinus.muller - 2011-10-13 11:44

      no zandberg jansen pocock do need to be teach a lesson,joubert is giong to make nz be all in black cum sunday,and the time did cum to returned the other cheek and give it back to bryce and his countrymen ,go wallibies go ,we were rob by bryce and the whole nz nation

      mikesy - 2011-10-13 14:09

      @Bumblebee - At least in 2007 the AB's were beaten by a better French side on the day. Anyway, i do think it is time for people to get over it. Bitching isn't going to change the result....

  • RaggedTooth - 2011-10-13 11:25

    Don't worry Hansen, you've got a South African referee, you'll be one of the few fortunate teams to have a fair chance at playing quality rugby. Maybe your kiwi refs can get vip seating on the sidelines with notebooks in hand. I bet they'll be astonished at how accurate a game can be blown and what a fair contest actually means. While you're at it, get Paddy O'Brien there too, he'll possibly have a Damascus experience as to what the role of a referee is supposed to be - IT IS TO OFFICIATE THE GAME, NOT TO DETERMINE THE OUTCOME!!!!

      EishPasteSarmi - 2011-10-13 11:36

      Well said!

      EishPasteSarmi - 2011-10-13 11:36

      Well said!

      Sakkie Van de Spuy - 2011-10-13 12:42

      Agree, they are lucky enough to get a good ref. Wish all WC games can be officiated by South Africa refs.

  • Anneleen - 2011-10-13 11:32

    Mr Joubert will have a "fair for all", not a "free for all" game.

  • bluebull9 - 2011-10-13 11:32

    Typical Australia they thinhk too much of themselfs and their asses

  • EMT - 2011-10-13 11:35

    its a petty we will never know who the 'real' world champions are in this years contest!! Im not saying the boks would win, but they could have upset the game. its now a 'set-up- to try get the Kiwi's to win!!

  • ruanpretorius1980 - 2011-10-13 11:39

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander - Craig - Moer both Pocock and McCaw at the breakdown if they infringe. Fair is fair

      Deon - 2011-10-13 12:08

      Red card them both then they'll miss the final.LOL

  • RaggedTooth - 2011-10-13 11:43

    Nucifora added: "I'm sure Steve (Hansen) has seen enough of number sevens (McCaw) pushing the boundaries, he knows how it works." So basically their whole mentality is: if you can cheat and get away with it, why not. I bet the prisoners in Polsmoor will agree whole heartedly with that assessment.

      fan - 2011-10-13 12:24

      just wanted to reply to Cire. firstly I was at the Welsh game in Wellington. We were seated to the right of the left upright, from the kickers side in the stadium. I can tell you that the kick missed but when they showed it on the stadium screen, camera angle from the kickers side it did appear to have gone over. it was a classical optical illusion (the ball curved to the left after it had passed above the right post giving it the illusion from the front that it was inside the right post) Secondly the kick that is being referred to took place in about the 14th minute and therefore cannot be used to determine who should have won the game. Thirdly the stats of that game will tell you that the Welsh missed that penalty and an attempted drop kick, Morne Steyn also missed a penalty and attempted drop kick. Rather study the game, learn a bit about rugby and then just maybe you would be able to add constructive opinion to this forum.

      Sakkie Van de Spuy - 2011-10-13 12:49

      @fan...I tried to explain this to him as well. Ballflight in 3D can give you optical illusiosn. Maybe Cire should go be a linesmen for a few years. In my varsity days, I use to be a linesmen when not playing and even trying to judge the exact point where the ball crosses the line to be out, can be difficult, if you remain on the line. @ RaggedTooth, this is what I said as well. Everybody is moaning about the ref (myself included, because he should be enforcing the rules), but the point is, players should be playing to the rules, not the ref. Imagine, players starting to play to the ref and hitting every second player in a ruck? Playing to the ref in scrum time who allows illegal scrumming and 2 forwards end up in hosptial becasue the ref allowed it? Rules are their to make the game safe and enjoyable, every player should strive to adhere to it. Obviously, I know this would be the case in a perfect world, that is why there is a ref. But what happens if the ref fails?

  • AndV - 2011-10-13 11:46

    Ironically it is exactly what McCaw does!

  • BluffO - 2011-10-13 12:25

    Nz should cream Aus, big time. I'll be swopping my springbok shirt this weekend for a NZ shirt. Bryce lawrence will obviously have a keen interest in this game and will be taught how one should ref.

      Sakkie Van de Spuy - 2011-10-13 12:52

      Support the ABs this weekend and the Wales in the final. This way, the bigmouths get their own back, teh QF debacle gets a Karma revenge and indirecltyt he SB can have bragging rights (the only team to have beaten Wales in the WC2011).

  • Meetoo - 2011-10-13 12:54

    Holy, what idiots. Cire, do you monitor Welsh websites to when they lose, so you know that no one complained? Its not our players complaining, its the public. That was blatant crap from Bryce. And Jim, wake up, watch that try over and over and convince yourself his foot was not on the line...go ahead toffee, you know it was out, so you wanna blame them for a correct decision now. Good luck to Australia, dont blame them one bit, had the reffing been fair, they might have still been in the semi's, but all we want is fair reffing...across th board.

  • Meetoo - 2011-10-13 13:02

    Even better, had Wales won that game, they would have possibly won the group, which means they would be at home now and we would be playing France....thats why the Welsh didnt complain.

  • Lee - 2011-10-13 13:16

    @Cire many of us SA's also thought that the kick was in and that it was all over for us but that was a difficult call to make whether it was in or not which is why the Ref rightly called for backup by others on what to call which they did do. I think that issue is very different to a Ref just making his own calls as and when he felt like it and turning a blind eye as and when he felt like it even though it was happening all in front of him. Even the players looked lost and had to try and follow how the Ref was playing the game. That is very difficult to do in a game like rugby considering the nature of the game and especially at a crusual time like the worl cup.

  • Jacques Ackermann - 2011-10-13 13:48


  • Grant - 2011-10-13 13:57

    In contrast to Hansen, Wallabies' coaching co-ordinator David Nucifora had no issues with Lawrence's officiating last weekend. "I thought the referee did a fine job, no problem from where we were sitting, I thought it was consistent for both teams," he said. hahahahahahah...what an idiot....if the aussies had eaten a bit of humble pie after the game and accepted the fact that bryce (sic) had won them the game, then i wouldnt give a bryce about who wins on sunday, as it is I hope the AB's rip these okes a new poop shute.....Go Wales

  • Sean Mitchell - 2011-10-13 13:58

    Cire, you should actually look at that kick again - if the post was higher the ball would have hit it - that's not over...sorry! As much as you would like to use that as an attack against us, it's not viable and you aren't convincing anyone...

  • Zion - 2011-10-13 14:20

    Xenophobia is classed as a crime against humanity. But of course that does not apply to white South Africans. It is absolutely shocking the length some will go to degrade other countries and their people in the name of a game. There is a law some where that states if the whistle has gone to mark the end of a game then the score stands. In the same idiom then, as uses to debase others: The Springboks are losers and nothing will change that now, no matter how hard you cry and moan and whinge. If you are one then take it like a man.

      yrossouw - 2011-10-13 18:51

      Xenophobia? Really? That's your award winning argument? What have you been smoking, boet?

  • blackboard - 2011-10-13 14:41

    SA should still have the won the game, despite the retard with the whistle you had about 20 opportunities to dropgoal but weirdly chose not to, your players had a chalk phobia and finally gave away a pathetic penalty at the death gifting the game to OZ. This notion that NZ engineered this loss to get the boks out of the cup is also laughable.. I'm sure most AB players and all the supporters actually wanted the boks to win this game (as I did), this so that we wouldn't have to face the unpredictable OZ team. For us kiwis the boks were seen as known quantities - old and 1 dimensional - therefore easy beats. Unfortunately for the both of us it just turns out that Oz cottoned on to this as well. Well done dickheads - if AB's choke then I am blaming you lot haha

  • yrossouw - 2011-10-13 18:41

    Two high tackles not penelized = 6 points, Five breakdown infringements not penelized = 15 points, One try and one potential try disallowed due to forward passes ( which by the IRB's own froward pass video was not forward) = 14 points, People still saying that Brycie didn't cost the Boks a game in which the difference was only 2 points = priceless!!!

  • Pieter - 2011-10-13 20:30

    Its all for show - Paddy and Bryce decidede a long time ago to get rid of the Boks. This is a New Zealand orcastrated Championship. As in Cricket Rugby is no longer a fair game. The pundits and crooked refs decicec that long ago.

  • Johan - 2011-10-14 09:39

    Cire, in the SA/Wales match it was one incident. Not two "forward" passes, two penalties under the posts, nine off side calls at rucks, etc etc. and 80 minutes of bad refereeing. Compare apples with apples twat.

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