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Warren Gatland was wrong to 'bully' referee Jaco Peyper

by 22/06/2017 09:15:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Steve Hansen has criticised the actions of Lions coach Warren Gatland
  • Hansen believes Gatland is guilty of pressuring and 'bullying' the referee 
  • Gatland had raised the issue of off-the-ball 'blocking' with Jaco Peyper
  • Hansen believes Gatland was wrong to speak about such matters openly 

By Andrew Baldock, Press Association Sport

Published: 09:15 EDT, 22 June 2017 | Updated: 09:15 EDT, 22 June 2017

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen appeared to accuse British and Irish Lions counterpart Warren Gatland of attempting to 'bully' referee Jaco Peyper ahead of Saturday's first Test in Auckland.

Gatland revealed last weekend that the Lions had already raised the issue of off-the-ball 'blocking' with officials, and said he planned to speak to Test referee Peyper to further discuss the tourists' concerns ahead of the Eden Park opener.

Hansen, speaking at a press conference after announcing his team on Thursday, indicated Gatland had been wrong to 'apply pressure' on the official by talking about such matters openly.

Warren Gatland has been accused of 'applying pressure' to the referee by Steve Hansen
Warren Gatland has been accused of 'applying pressure' to the referee by Steve Hansen

Warren Gatland has been accused of 'applying pressure' to the referee by Steve Hansen

'The referee's got the hardest job in the world, I reckon,' the All Blacks boss said.

'With the blocking, the rule says that as long as you don't change your direction of running, you are entitled to run back to help your team-mate, and that's the key, isn't it?

'Turn around and run back, and don't change your line. If your line is the same, then you are not blocking, what you are doing is just running back to help your team-mate.

'But if you run five metres to get in front of someone, that's dopey, that's dumb.

'We just want the ref to referee the rules the way they said they were going to, and be consistent about it. Will there be mistakes? Yes, there will be because they are humans, just like both teams will make mistakes themselves.

'There is no point trying to bully the referees publicly in the media. We have a moment to meet them (on Friday) and we will talk about things we need to talk about in private. And he will give his interpretation of what he wants, and then it is up to us to go and deliver that.'

All Blacks' coach Steve Hansen believes Gatland was wrong to make his comments publicly
All Blacks' coach Steve Hansen believes Gatland was wrong to make his comments publicly

All Blacks' coach Steve Hansen believes Gatland was wrong to make his comments publicly

Referee Jaco Peyper will speak to both coaches but Gatland has had his say in the media
Referee Jaco Peyper will speak to both coaches but Gatland has had his say in the media

Referee Jaco Peyper will speak to both coaches but Gatland has had his say in the media

Asked what he would like to talk to Peyper about specifically, Hansen said: 'Well, if I talk to you (the media) about it, then I am applying pressure to him in the media, and that's sort of like bullying him, and I don't want to do that.

'So I will just quietly talk to him on Friday, and certainly there are areas of the game that we will talk about.'

Hansen, meanwhile, dismissed Gatland's suggestion that he might be 'a little bit worried' heading into the three-match series.

'You guys that know me know I will tell you all the time that worry is a wasted emotion,' he said.

'It's a wasted emotion because if the thing you are worrying about happened, you need to fix it. So there is no point worrying about it.

'And if it hasn't happened, you plan so you don't have to worry about it.'

Hansen masterminded New Zealand's World Cup triumph in 2015, but he sees the three-game Lions series as 'right up there' in terms of coaching challenges.

'I was thinking about that earlier (on Thursday), that very thing, and it's right up there,' he said.

The Lions have taken issue with off-the-ball 'blocking' and aired their concerns with officials
The Lions have taken issue with off-the-ball 'blocking' and aired their concerns with officials

The Lions have taken issue with off-the-ball 'blocking' and aired their concerns with officials

'The World Cup is a knockout tournament, and the difference with the Lions is you get three goes. If you stuff the first one up, you get another one. And it's the same for both teams, isn't it?

'It's exciting, and you can feel the enthusiasm and the real hunger in the hotel with the players.

'They are really up for it. That doesn't guarantee to win the thing, but it does guarantee that your attitude is right, and we know that if our attitude is right and we get our clarity right, then we are a good side.

'So then it means the opposition have to be, too, and they've selected a side that is capable of playing a different type of game than we play. And that in itself is intriguing and very interesting to see the result once it has all been played out.'

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