'Cheap shot' angers NZ coach

2012-10-21 13:34

Brisbane - The All Blacks are annoyed at the continuing targeting of skipper Richie McCaw, with coach Steve Hansen describing as a "cheap shot" an incident in Saturday's drawn Bledisloe Test.

The injury-hit Australians held the World Cup champions to an 18-18 draw in Brisbane, but their blindside flanker Scott Higginbotham was subsequently cited for punching or striking McCaw in the 26th minute of the game.

Television replays showed Higginbotham appearing first to knee McCaw in the head and then to head-butt the All Blacks skipper on the ground.

Hansen was irritated when asked at the post-match press conference whether he had seen the incident.

"I saw the head butt. It was another cheap shot on Richie... he seems to get them every week, but everyone seems to miss them," Hansen said.

McCaw, who was kneed in the head by Quade Cooper in Brisbane 14 months ago with the Wallaby flyhalf exonerated at a subsequent judicial hearing, said he was annoyed by the attentions of Higginbotham.

"It annoyed me at the time but I suppose it was on TV and it will get dealt with, I guess," McCaw told reporters.

"It gets a bit frustrating, at times, those sort of things, but there's nothing you can do about it, someone else will deal with that."

When asked further about the Higginbotham incident, Hansen flared: "You people (media) see it week in, week out, for yourselves.

"And instead of asking us to talk about it I ask you to say actually what do you think? If you don't think it's right, then write that.

"All we can say is that we saw it, it was a cheap shot, and then hope that the judiciary will sort it out. If they don't then we'll just get on and have another game next week."

Springbok prop Dean Greyling was suspended for two weeks for a forearm smash to McCaw's face during their Rugby Championship match in Dunedin last month.

Hansen was disappointed only to have drawn with Australia to end their 16-match unbeaten run.

But he praised McCaw's decision to opt for a scrum after the full-time siren and go after victory, rather than playing it safe and kicking the ball into touch to end the game.

"What we do take out of it is that to play as poorly as we did and still manage to show the character and tenacity to get a draw is pleasing," he said.

"I thought it showed huge character to take a scrum after the (final) hooter and to actually get in a position to drop-kick a goal.

"Unfortunately this time DC (Dan Carter) missed it but we know it's probably the hardest thing in the game to do to drop-kick a goal. I thought the character and composure to do that was marvellous.

"The character of the bloke (McCaw) is that he wants to win, a draw is not a win, so that's something to be applauded. That's the way we are and we gave ourselves a chance and didn't quite finish it."

New Zealand next play Scotland on November 11 in the first of four Tests in Europe next month.


  • - 2012-10-21 13:59

    Give the man(?) a Kleenex.

      macziekpk - 2012-10-21 14:31

      THey sound as bad as Bulls supporters blaming the ref

      piet.dom.5 - 2012-10-21 16:44

      O yes? And what u need is a stick in your a*s.

      TravieGrif - 2012-10-21 20:21

      I cannot imagine why on earth Richie McCaw gets targeted. It just makes no sense. He is such a clean player, and is always on the right side of the law. Never cheats or gets away with illegal stuff at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      macziekpk - 2012-10-21 23:19

      So now richie mccaw is ano good cheat but when dean greyling contributes with the people's elbow he is a disgrace. Double standards

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-21 16:02

    Well I still want to know what CJ saw when he almost stuck his nose in the ruck when McCaw was struck. Instead of reversing the penalty and send Higginbotham to the showers, he opt to reward him by giving the Aussies 3 points.

  • troy.kimpton.5 - 2012-10-21 16:52

    Joubert and his useless linesmen should be stripped of their reffing badges after displaying an absolute disgrace of officiating.might start a facebook page of death threats,utter incompetence

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-22 02:38

      Absolutely - McCaw should have been sent off after his third transgression !!!!

  • troy.kimpton.5 - 2012-10-21 16:54

    saffas moaning about others complaining about the ref?????oh the irony of it all,you couldnt make it up!!

      ckrohne1 - 2012-10-21 19:39

      You were not complaining when CJ didn't do his job properly in the WC final last year....NZ should have been penalised in that game for a couple of infringements........oh well, they seldom gets penalised for infringements.

      om.nom.nom.01 - 2012-10-21 22:41

      ckrohne1... hear hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      johannes.barnard.77 - 2012-10-22 12:12

      This is what t happens when a ref doesn't send a player off for his thrid trangression the other side will take the law into ... own hands well done AUS , NZd's and MCcaw believe they are above the rule book the ref's are intimidated by NZ's strong influence at the IRB and is afraid to penalize the AB's

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-21 17:39

    Want to know what the IRB is going to do getting rid of thuggery displayed by Higginbotham and total incompetence from the officials dealing with it. Higginbotham got cited but what about Joubert? Remember he is in charge of the AB'S against Wales game at the end of the year. If nothing is going to happen to him what motivation is there for the Welsh players not to go for McCaw again and indeed what motivation for CJ not to turn a blind eye again.

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-21 19:54

    Ckrohne1 you are still going on about the World Cup. First of all the French try was started from an offside position and McCaw was the target of thuggery again. I rest my case

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-21 21:25

      Heinrich Badenhorst the all blacks 17 unbeaten record is such a pain in the neck for the boks that they just cant handle it. All they have in response is whinging of the past because they could not then and still cannot today make a difference on the field to better the all blacks performance. Jealousy is what they call it Im

      rocco.dewet.3 - 2012-10-21 23:17

      Heini is jy bietjie verward ou knapie? Hoekom verander jy nie jou naam sodat jy so 'n bietjie meer legit oorkom nie. Wat van NZsister (NZbro is reeds gevat) Hehehehe....

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-21 20:19

    paul.muirhed.92 We know that. It was just the thought that everyone is going on about the draw without even thinking about the fact that the All Blacks is still unbeaten. You do realise that? I mean that a draw is not a loss.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-21 21:20

      Heinrich Badenhorst in paul.muirhed.92 little mind that minor little detail lets him sleep at To think of the reality (unbeaten still) is

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-21 22:59

      The All Blacks like to win. Not lose. Not draw. It wasn't a win and that is what matters. Something the Boks could learn from them.

      rocco.dewet.3 - 2012-10-21 23:23

      Yes, but equaling or breaking the record of 18 consecutive wins is gone for now. We assume you get that Heini. BTW what is the Maori name for "p0eph0l" - as a New Zealnder you would know now wouldn't you? Hehehe...

  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-21 22:54

    Higginbotham is becoming the biggest thug in world rugby now that Bakkies has retired.

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-22 05:46

    Rocco you will remember that small things amazes small minds He! He!

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-22 05:57

    Rocco Hope you catch the play with words. Usualy it should read amuses but in your case it is amazing that you have missed the point completly and so did CJ

  • Heinrich Badenhorst - 2012-10-22 06:09

    Rocco just a final thought. Please note that I used amazes and amuses because I don't likes people like you Hehe

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2012-10-22 07:04

      Is daar iets fout met jou?

  • heinrich.badenhorst.395 - 2012-10-22 07:42

    chrisin No not at all, but I am not impressed when we are trying to debate a subject objectively and some one like the rocco character is playing the man instead of the subject.

      rodney.louis.7 - 2012-10-22 12:10

      lol its useless debating with fools

  • heinrich.badenhorst.395 - 2012-10-22 12:44

    rodney who is the fool here? Do you then admit that CJ did not see the incident LOL. Do yourself a favour and watch the clip again. CJ was in actual fact almost making contact with them. Was he blind looking at something else or what? Why then has he blew his whistle and spoke to both McCaw and Higginbotham. Was it a bedtime story? FYI Higganbotham was only suspended for two test matches, shame.

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