O'Neill slams Hansen's claims

2012-10-23 07:30

Sydney - Australian Rugby Union CEO John O'Neill has dismissed as "insulting and ill-informed" claims by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that Australia is stealing New Zealand players.

Hansen made the assertion after New Zealand's 18-18 draw with the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup Test on Saturday in which New Zealand-born center Mike Harris kicked five penalties for Australia.

The All Blacks coach says Australia should concentrate on developing its own talent, rather than trying to build depth by "pinching" New Zealand players.

O'Neill says New Zealand should put its own house in order before criticising Australia, adding "the comments from the All Blacks coach are insulting, ill-informed. I would not even want to guess how many players born in the South Pacific islands have worn the All Blacks jersey."


  • bakkies.botha.39 - 2012-10-23 07:35

    "Hansen, vir jou donner ek!!!!" - 2012-10-23 11:41

      bakkies.botha.39 - vir jou donner ek!!!!"

      bakkies.botha.39 - 2012-10-23 11:45

      Kom sé dit voor my oubaas se honne!! - 2012-10-23 20:17

      Kom sé dit voor my oubaas se honne!!

  • smellarat.smith - 2012-10-23 07:40

    Pacific Islanders are allowed to emigrate to NZ just like everyone else. To suggest otherwise would be racist. Where a line would be crossed is e.g. if AB scouts check out high schools in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji for prospects, and then facilitate immigration of the parents of potential star players. I do not know whether that is actually happening, so I am reserving judgment until I know.

      chiepner - 2012-10-23 08:53

      If memory serves me correct - they actually had a campaign of simular sorts not so long ago in SA trying to lure school boys over to NZ and facilitate immigration if they make the grade. So I would not put it past AB.

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:18

      This sort of poaching in the islands doesn't happen unless it's by individual schools. Even then I doubt it happens at all. It would need to be a very rich school that could do this. Why would they need to when they can go across Auckland and find a bigger islander community with a far bigger pool of better coached players. What the richer schools do is poach players from the poorer schools in Auckland. No need at all to go to the islands. The evidence suggests it has never happened. Of the islanders that have played for the All Blacks only Joeli Vidiri, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Alama Iremaia, and Casey Laulala came to NZ over the age of 10. Iremaia didn't play rugby before arriving in NZ. All the others were either born in NZ or learned all their rugby in NZ after arriving at primary school age.

      viva.lebok - 2012-10-23 10:14

      @smellarat Is it forbidden for a New Zealander to immigrate to Australia then? to suggest otherwise will also be racist.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-23 10:41

      The ab scouts are NOT that desperate to look at schools inside an Island sovereign state. There are heaps of talent right here to choose from hence the Ozzies coming over and doing JUST THAT as Hansen is alluding to. Oz does not have a system in place to source talent like we do and saffaland, argentina etc. They (Oz) are forced to poach. They even took one of our most talented coaches for heavens sake !

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-23 10:46

      viva.lebok no its not forbidden. NZ/Oz have an open door policy re immigration & I think more kiwis cross the ditch to oz than vice versa especially after the recent ChcH earthquake.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-23 10:47

      QUOTE" Rebels coach Damien Hill was unapologetic about his role in luring New Zealand-raised talent to Melbourne. As Australia's youngest Super Rugby franchise, the Rebels will be allowed up to 10 foreign players on their roster next season, with that number falling to six and then four over the next three years. Hill has recruited four New Zealand players for next year, including rising Wellington player Jason Woodward, Otago back-rower Scott Fuglistaller, Auckland prop Pauliasi Manu, and New Zealand-raised Pat Leafa, who played in the Canberra club competition last year. ''I think [playing depth] is a fantastic attribute of New Zealand and no doubt it's the reason they're the current world champions ... but if the opportunities arise you can't begrudge the player for taking it,'' Hill said." read article below: - 2012-10-23 11:10

      Asked on Radio Sport his morning whether the Pacific Islands' argument was a fair one, Hansen replied: "You can't [compare], considering there are more New Zealanders playing for Pacific Islands [teams] than there are players that we're taking out of there. "At the last World Cup I think the majority of the Samoan team, for example, was born in New Zealand." - 2012-10-23 11:44

      @clintleeh, i dont think your memory serves u at all!!! wot-a-crock-of-cr@p!!!!! pls backup your statement with sum facts!!!

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-23 13:01

      Pat. This is actually not a made up story by Clintleeh. My company is Coenie Oosthuizen's agent and he was offered a four year contract at Murry Mexted's academy after school when he was still in st 9. What do you think would have happened after those four years????

      rodney.louis.7 - 2012-10-23 15:05

      Maori's are imported from the surrounding islands to New Zealand and promised "fame" if they play for the All Blacks ..Hansen u just opened a can of worms ..

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-24 02:26

      Seriously Rodney Louis you're going to come on here and parade your stupidity for everyone to see? I'm not sure they were playing rugby 1000 years ago when the Maori people arrived in NZ. I'm pretty pleased you've just brought up another theory on why the Maori migrated to NZ. They were expecting fame as All Blacks. Of course. Pity they only had to wait 1000 years for it happen. \r\n Perhaps you should have paid more attention in school \r\nAs for the other islanders, read my other comments below and learn something. \r\nWhat you're suggesting, does not happen. NZ has all the Maori and all the Islanders it needs growing up in NZ. There are more islanders in auckland than in the islands. There is no need at all to go to the islands to get them.

      caleb.drumm.1 - 2012-10-27 22:02

      @Clintleeh and Rodney- Seriously?! Is your stupidity indicative of South African intellect? Are South Africans really that ignorant and stupid, it truely does baffle me how you are able to turn on your computer. Rodney, your comment has really left me flabbergasted. But these are the ill informed morons we have to deals with.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:49

    RWC 2011 squads... Importers -- foreign-born players in your squad 15: Samoa (all from New Zealand) 12: USA 11: Italy 10: Japan 9: Tonga 8: England 7: Australia, Scotland 5: Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Wales 4: Ireland, New Zealand 2: France, Russia 1: South Africa 0: Argentina, Georgia, Romania Exporters -- your local-born players in another country's squad 38: New Zealand 13: Australia, South Africa 6: Argentina, England 5: American Samoa, Samoa 4: Tonga 3: Fiji 2: Hong Kong, USA, Zimbabwe 1: Burkina Faso, Canada, Cote d'Ivoire, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Scotland, Uzbekistan 0: France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Namibia, Romania, Russia, Wales

      dekkeranton - 2012-10-23 08:35

      Your list means nothing! If your scouts actively go out and recruit youngsters, some as young as 6 years old, pay for the families to relocate to New Zeeland, and fast-track their citizenship in some cases, then you cannot claim that as home-grown talent! It is stealing other countries talent! By claiming because of historic associations with Samoa, most Samoans are naturally eligible to play for New Zeeland is hogwash! Why does any other country have to wait 5 years before an “import” is eligible to play for his adopted country, yet New Zeeland are absolved from that rule! If any player has represented his birth country, at any level, it is just about impossible to get him to play for his adopted country, except in New Zeeland! We had the case here in South Africa of Kennedy Tsimba, who played one u/19 game for Zimbabwe, yet after living in South Africa for more than 12 years the IRB refused us permission to select him for the Springboks. Yet, Stephen Bachop played for Samoa & All Blacks, Frank Bunce played for Samoa & All Blacks, Alama Ieremia played for Samoa & All Blacks, Michael Jones played for Samoa & All Blacks and Pat Lam played for Samoa & All Blacks! Then we have the case of South African Greg Rawlinson, who’s ‘Kiwiness’ and citizenship was incredible fast-tracked to make him eligible to play for the All Blacks. One rule for the rugby world and another one for New Zeeland! That is the reason for our reaction to your coach opening his mouth where it doesn’t belong!

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:08

      You're showing quite a bit of ignorance here Dekkeranton. The IRB rules have changed since all those players you mention. Now if anyone has represented one country at either national 1st team or national second team or national 7s team, they can only ever play for that country. So if under 19s is your nation's second team, you can only ever play for that country. In NZ the three teams are All Blacks, NZ Juniors and All Blacks 7s. Of the players you mention, Stephen Bachop was born in NZ of Samoan heritage, Frank Bunce was born in NZ of Niuean heritage, (should not have been able to play for Samoa) Michael Jones and Pat Lam were born in NZ of Samoan heritage. If the rules said you could only play for the country of your birth, they would all only have been eligible for NZ. Greg Rawlinson met the residency requirements as did the New Zealander Kevin Putt, when he was selected to play for South Africa. NZ abides by the IRB rules. Anyone ineligible under their rules can't get on the field. I've no idea where you get your ideas about different rules for different countries. Seems to me you should think before commenting.

      blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 09:11

      What part of LOCAL BORN don't you understand? You can't "recruit" a six year old foreigner and turn him into a local BORN player. IRB regs apply to everyone at any given moment -- when Bachop was allowed to switch from Samoa to NZ and back, Tiaan Strauss was able to switch from SA to Australia and back. Then IRB stopped ALL nation-swaps, and Tsimba was on that side of the fence, as was Rawlinson (who only played two AB tests). And you can't seriously think ANY talent scout can spot a future test player when they're only six. Get real.

      dekkeranton - 2012-10-23 09:55

      We live in a global village, and people will migrate in an attempt to better their lives, for themselves and their families. There is nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with companies looking for talent to invest in for future development anywhere in the world. The issue here is not if it is wrong or right to recruit players, or for players to sell their talent to the highest bidder. If the lawyer, the doctor, the plumber and the teacher can do it, why not the rugby player. What is at issue here is, if you do a bit of underhand dealing, don’t claim moral high ground and preach to the rest of the world. Hanson was way out of line and everyone, except his blindly loyal disciples, can see it!

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 10:01

      Not many teachers are selected to teach for their country, so it's not quite the same thing. And when did Hansen do any underhand dealing while selecting his All Black team? The only player they enticed from anywhere else was Sonny Bill Williams, a New Zealand born player they enticed to come home and play. Not sure how that is underhanded.

      dekkeranton - 2012-10-23 10:30

      In terms of underhand dealing, I was referring to New Zeeland Rugby’s history, not Hanson in person. Careful calling people ignorant! We’ve experienced your double standards. The fact is Hanson opened this “Pandora’s Box” by questioning Mike Harris’s eligibility to play for the Aussies with the statement, “...They should get their own house in order and develop their own." It is laughable in the face of your “questionable” and well-known recruitment drives. Damn, here in South Africa we find your scouts working hard at our junior tournaments, especially the ‘Carven Week’, trying to lure youngsters to New Zeeland with school scholarship offers, and even career options for the parents. It is a national joke, under the parents of rugby playing boys here in South Africa, that to be eligible to emigrate to New Zeeland you do not need any qualifications, just a boy that can kick or catch a rugby ball. In fact a talented rugby prodigy will get you into Kiwi-land much quicker than a medical degree. With that reputation, for Hanson to then stand and shout “hands off our young talent” is a joke! “People that live in glass houses shouldn’t through stones!”

      dekkeranton - 2012-10-23 10:40

      Shame lindsay.amner, let me explain it to you in simple terms. I listed the other professions as a hypothesis in explaining that rugby players are nowadays professionals that can sell their services wherever and to whomever they wish. I’m not even English speaking yet seems to have a better command of your language. Wow, and I thought our education system was failing!

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 11:18

      Anton, I still say you're ignorant. Numerous people here are pointing out that NZ does not actually have a history of poaching players and in spite of the evidence being presented you continue to believe this happens. I have no idea who might be visiting your junior training but I wonder who in NZ would have the money to do this. It seems far fetched to me. The point about the islanders surely must have sunk in by now. These "islanders" are New Zealanders, mostly born in NZ. I pointed out that your hypothesis about other professions actually doesn't fit international sport when you're selecting national teams. Sure they can go anywhere they like, no one is denying them that, but NZ rugby's policy is that if you go work overseas you are ineligible for NZ selection. You ARE quite ignorant of the IRB's rules and the changes in them,and you are very ignorant of NZ rugby and NZ's relationship with the pacific island states, so I don't believe it's too insulting to point this out. You should check some of these things before you comment.

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 11:22

      I see no sign of South African born players in NZ age group teams so if anyone is recruiting them they're obviously not picking the right boys. If there is such a program it's a bit of a failure, and I can't see anyone in NZ thinking it's worth the money they'd have to pay to be doing this.

      dekkeranton - 2012-10-23 11:29

      For years everyone helped themselves to South African rugby talent. Let us look at South African born players representing other countries. Australia – Tiaan Strauss, Clyde Rathbone, Daniel Vickerman Canada – D.T.H. van der Merwe, Christian Steward, Nick Trenkel England – Hendre Fourie, Matt Stevens, Stuart Abbort, Nick Abendanon, Brad Barritt, Mouritz Botha, Mike Catt France – Brian Liebenberg, Pieter de Villiers Italy – Carlo Del Fava, Quinton Geldenhuys, Roland de Marigny New Zeeland – Andrew Mehrtens, Greg Rawlinson Russia – Coenraad Breytenbach, Johan Hendriks, Reinier Volschenk, Werner Pieterse USA – Philip Eloff, Chad Erskinein, Owen Lentzthe, Francois Viljoen Wales – Rhys Thomas, Ian Evans, Andy Marinos That is the few I can think of now, I’m sure there are many more. We never stopped these players from moving to wherever they wanted to, nor did drag their names through the media trying to raise suspicion on their motifs. Except for Rathbone, but he started it by trashing South Africa in the press, that after he captained ‘South Africa u/19’ before moving to Australia and miraculously played for Australia within months of arriving there. You yourself listed at least 17 Samoan born players that represented New Zeeland, 4 in the last Word cup. ...and you coach crap in his pants because one New Zeeland born player is now playing for Australia!

      dekkeranton - 2012-10-23 11:52

      As far as my lack of knowledge regarding New Zeeland’s relationship with other Pacific Island states, yes you are absolutely correct, I have no idea what is going on there. It is far too confusing for us mere mortals to try and understand how everyone from a certain geo-physical sphere of the globe can claim the same single heritage and nationality if it suits them to do so, yet be part of completely independent states. As far as the IRB rules, big mistake, I do know them well! I just don’t understand how it is possible to have different standards and interpretations as to the application of the IRB rulers! As for calling me ignorant, you are welcome, it only reflects badly on you and your sad inability to realise the indisputable truths we all, except the Kiwis, know and have to live with. Name calling is not debate, and with that I rap up my participation in this discussion because it is pointless trying to talk to anyone resorting to slanderous personal attacks rather than discussion. Live happily in the believe of your own ill-mannered self-righteousness, it makes no difference to anyone else, but please don’t preach morality!

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 12:35

      Maybe you should brush up on your English. I didn't resort to personal attacks or name calling. I simply said you're ignorant of the IRB rules and NZ rugby. Ignorant simply means not knowledgeable. Your comments clearly indicated your ignorance of these topics. As I'm a history teacher I'll try to improve your knowledge. In the simplest terms possible - Western Samoa (formerly German Samoa - invaded by NZ troops in 1914) was effectively part of New Zealand until 1961. When they got independence, thousands of Samoans moved to NZ because they could still get NZ passports and a better life. The children and grandchildren of these immigrants are now growing up in NZ and playing rugby for NZ. They still consider themselves Samoan, but they are New Zealanders, born and bred. The 17 Samoan All Blacks born in Samoa came to NZ with their immigrant parents as young children, or in a couple of cases, as teenagers. This is not a program of rugby poaching, it is simple demographics. Saying that NZ is poaching these players from Samoa is like saying that South Africa is poaching Holland's players by selecting Afrikaners. Only one islander player, Joeli Vidiri, was an established player for his home country before deciding to play for NZ instead. I say it again, NZ does not poach players from the Pacific Islands and you cannot find any evidence that says they do.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-10-23 07:52

    Let's unpack the "poaching" myth. At the 2011 RWC the All Black squad had only 4 players not born in NZ: Mils Muliaina (Salelesi, Samoa), Ben Franks (Frankston, Australia), Jerome Kaino (Tutuila, Samoa), Isaia Toeava (Moto'otua, Samoa). Not one Fijian or Tongan. Samoa had 15 players in their squad born in NZ: Census Johnston (Auckland), Anthony Perenise (Wellington), Olé Avei (Wellington), Daniel Leo (Palmerston North), Kane Thompson (Paraparaumu), Kahn Fotuali'i (Auckland), Jeremy Sua (Wellington), Tusi Pisi (Auckland), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Auckland), James So'oialo (Wellington), Ti'i Paulo (Christchurch), Filipo Lavea Levi (Hamilton), Junior Poluleuligaga (Auckland), Tasesa Lavea (Taihape), Paul Williams (Auckland) Look at Tongas's squad: Tukulua Lokotui (Auckland), Kurt Morath (Takapuna), , Ephraim Taukafa (Auckland), Thomas Palu (Wellington), Andrew Ma'ilei (Auckland), William Helu (Otahuhu), Siale Piutau (Auckland). And Fiji: Nicky Little (Tokoroa), Deacon Manu (New Plymouth), Michael Tagicakibau (Auckland) So, who is poaching whom?

      chiepner - 2012-10-23 09:05

      Your'e missing the point. Hansen bemoans one born NZ player in the Wallabies squad. Yet as you pointed out there was 4 foreighn born players in the NZ squad (RWC 2011). Point being - this is a pro sport. You WILL get players whom immigrated from one country to the other to ply their trade. South Africa has "lost" alot of players this way to France, Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, Australia and so forth. It will never stop - its normal and its not a question of players getting pinched its a fact that players feel they will get treaded better and maybe even qualify to play at the highest level of the game if they do so. So what Hansen is trying to imply is that no NZ born player must be allowed to play for another nation because it would rather be better that they always play second fiddle to better percieved players rather than making a living for themselves and trying to explore alternative options. Hansen is totally out of line to even claim this and it smacks more of a sore loser than a clever opinion. If Hansen wants to stop this then it would only be fair if NZ stop allowing those ever so crafty and talented Islanders to break into the local rugby structures. What's good for the goose is good for the.........well you get it, but I assume you really going to have a counter argument for this trying to show that "NZ must be allowed to do this, but other nation may not"

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:42

      No Clintleeh I think you're missing the point. Hansen wasn't actually talking about the Wallabies, he was talking about the Super 15 teams. Australia has agitated to get 5 teams but in order to fill them has to allow them to pick up other country's players. The Rebels are allowed to pick 10 overseas players in their squad. If the Reds weren't allowed to pick overseas players, Mike Harris would still be in NZ playing for North Harbour. Good on him for his development, but the point is that because Australia doesn't have a domestic national competition, the Australian Super teams are picking up some of NZ's developing talent a year or two before they're ready to be picked for NZ Super teams.

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:52

      BTW, Steve Hansen has yet to lose a test as All Black coach so I've no idea where this sore loser tag has come from.

      unclejb.vansiths - 2012-10-23 13:10

      Sore loser tag comes from the fact that they lost out on breaking the record for the most consecutive wins by a top tier rugby playing nation. the record is 17 wins(shared between All Blacks and Springboks)

  • James - 2012-10-23 07:55

    If its not kiwis in the Wallabies its South Africans... or Zimbabweans... or Papua New Guinea... or Irish... Not many Aussies in that team at all. Wallabies are getting by on scraps from SA and NZ.

  • percy.vanzyl.1 - 2012-10-23 08:25

    So I see that they still send all the criminals to Oz...

      adrien.mcguire - 2012-10-23 09:49

      Are you packed for Perth ! LMAO

  • lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:20

    Here's the list of the 33 out of 50 Samoan heritage players who were born in NZ 1. John Afoa - born Akld NZ 2. Ben Atiga – born Akld NZ 3. Graeme Bachop – born Chch NZ 4. Stephen Bachop - born Chch NZ 5. William Birtwhistle – born Akld NZ 6. Andrew Blowers – born Akld NZ 7. Frank Bunce - born Akld NZ 8. Christian Cullen - born Paraparaumu NZ 9. Michael Jones - born Akld NZ 10. Josh Kronfeld - born Hastings NZ 11. Pat Lam - born Akld NZ 12. Keith Lowen – born Huntly NZ 13. Lelia Masaga - born Wgtn NZ 14. Aaron Mauger - born Chch NZ 15. Nathan Mauger - born Chch NZ 16. Keven Mealamu - born Tokoroa NZ 17. Brad Mika - born Akld NZ 18. Dylan Mika - born Akld NZ 19. Ma'a Nonu - born Wgtn NZ 20. Kevin Senio – born Akld NZ 21. Benson Stanley – born Akld NZ 22. Jeremy Stanley - born Akld NZ 23. Joe Stanley - born Akld NZ 24. Neemia Tialata – born Wgtn NZ 25. Filo Tiatia – born Wgtn NZ 26. Ofisa Tonu'u – born Wgtn NZ 27. Mose Tuiali'i – born Akld NZ 28. Richard Turner - born Akld NZ 29. Tana Umaga – born Lwr Hutt NZ 30. Victor Vito – born Wgtn NZ 31. Bryan Williams – born Akld NZ 32. Sonny Bill Williams - born Akld NZ

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:24

      Sorry left off the latest, 33. Julian Savea, born in Wellington NZ

  • lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 09:23

    And here's the list of the 17 Samoan All Blacks who were born outside NZ. Not one of these players could be said to have been poached. Virtually every one went through the NZ school and age group rugby system. 1. Sosene Anesi – born Samoa played schoolboy rugby in NZ 2. Olo Brown - born Samoa arrived NZ during primary school 3. Eroni Clarke - born Samoa arrived NZ aged 3 4. Jerry Collins - born Samoa arrived NZ aged 6 5. Alama Ieremia born Samoa arrived NZ as a teenager 6. Jerome Kaino - born American Samoa arrived NZ at young age 7. Casey Laulala – born Samoa, arrived NZ at young age 8. Chris Masoe - born Samoa arrived NZ at young age 9. Mils Muliaina - born Samoa arrived NZ aged 2 10. John Schuster – born Samoa arrived NZ at young age 11. John Schwalger – born Samoa arrived NZ at young age 12. Dave Solomon – born in Fiji schooled in NZ 13. Frank Solomon - born in Fiji schooled in NZ 14. Rodney So'oialo – born Samoa arrived NZ at young age 15. Isaia Toeava – born Samoa arrived NZ at young age 16. Va'aiga Tuigamala – born Samoa arrived NZ at young age 17. Rudi Wulf – born in Samoa arrived NZ at very young age

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-10-23 10:32

      lindsay.amner thats well said mate.I dont think you're gonna get many arguments from the boks after that overload / bombardment of facts on the "poaching" myth.I've had a go as well for 2 weeks now to present the truth but I eventually reached the conclusion I am dealing with "thick as a plank" attitudes. All we are trying to do is provide correct info to the ignorant after all is said and done. I like your comment so I'll end my posting by quoting your comment above & retire for the night : " BTW, Steve Hansen has yet to lose a test as All Black coach so I've no idea where this sore loser tag has come from." - 2012-10-23 11:24

      spot on!!!!!!!!!!!! btw.. Tendai "Beast" Mtawarirw was a Zimbabwean national until late June 2010 !!!

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-23 13:03

      he didn't loose a test, but failed to equal the record for most consecutive wins. are you now thick as a plank?

  • jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-23 12:56

    Just a fact. NZ cry allot. In 1995 they lost in the WC final, blamed SA for food poisoning. In 2007 lost to France in the WC in the quarters, blamed the ref. McCaw even wrote a book about it. In 2012 played to equal the most test won in a row, blamed Australia for poaching. No doubt that they are the best test team in the world, but they're certainty the best at making excuses as well.

      jimmy.moustache.12 - 2012-10-23 13:45

      and lets not forget the wife beating when they lose.

      lindsay.amner - 2012-10-23 23:14

      you really need to do some research and make sure you understand what you're talking about before you leap on the keyboard. No-one blamed SA when NZ lost the 95 final. Laurie Mains blamed a British betting syndicate for the food poisoning. There's no doubt they were ill, the only question is how it happened. Sure NZers blamed the ref in 2007. Even the IRB did too. Graham Henry kept his job as it was pretty clear it was a reffing problem. Thing is - Wayne Barnes is reffing happily in NZ. NZers don't make death threats or hold grudges, unlike some other country I can think of. I'd really like to see that book that Richie McCaw wrote about the ref in 2007! I was under the impression that he wrote a book about his career and happened to mention in a single paragraph the 2007 game where he questioned why the most inexperienced ref in the tournament was given a quarter final between the favourites and the hosts. Steve Hansen is not blaming Mike Harris for the draw, he was asked a question by a reporter and he answered it by talking about Australia's Super 15 system, not the Wallabies. Mike Harris would not be anywhere close to making the All Blacks if he'd stayed in NZ so he's done well, Hansen simply used him as an example of a wider problem of Australian Super teams like the Rebels and the Force filling their rosters with young NZ talent. None of that talent is available for the All Blacks at the moment so how is he blaming that for the draw?

  • calvin.cona - 2012-10-23 18:28

    Aaaaaaa what a joke Crying babies of world rugby run to IRB Hansan haha

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