ABs brace for Hore hearing

By Gregor Paul in Cardiff

Another long week entangled with the judiciary looms for the All Blacks with Andrew Hore certain to be cited for what looked like a swinging arm thrown at Welsh lock Bradley Davies.

Not even one minute into the game and Hore clobbered Davies when the big lock strayed in front of him at a breakdown. Davies had no idea it was coming - the attack arriving from behind and he left the field dazed, a condition he sustained until well after the game.

It might have just been clumsy from Hore, an attempt to hook Davies out of the way. But good luck convincing any judicial officer of that. It didn't really look clumsy or accidental.

Only Hore will know what he was really up to but multiple replays only confirm the impression there was intent and purpose.

"To be honest, all we have seen is the one replay of it and he looks like he is going into cleanout the Welshman in front of him," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. "He looked like he went to get him out of the way and clearly something has happened during that.

Until I see it properly I can't really say...but it is unfortunate it has happened."

Davies, who two years ago on the same ground, was legally pole-axed by a thunderous Jerome Kaino hit, was helped off and looked shaken by the impact. "We are taking him to hospital, he doesn't know exactly where he is right now," confirmed Wales coach Warren Gatland.

"It didn't look great. From the initial look at the video, Bradley's been hit from behind and he's gone down. That's something the citing commissioner can have a look at, but I haven't had a good look at it. I'll be disappointed [if it was foul play] because he's a key player for us. He's not in great shape at the moment but fingers crossed it's not too bad."

Referee Craig Joubert told Wales captain Sam Warburton that none of the officials had seen the incident and he was therefore unable to take any action at the time. But the All Blacks are braced for a citing and a hearing - something they had hoped to have seen the last of following a two-week saga with Adam Thomson.

Now their preparations for the England test will be disrupted by not knowing the availability of Hore until the findings of the hearing. The problem is compounded by the injury to Keven Mealamu whose calf stiffened in Rome making him questionable for Twickenham.

Hansen said they would most likely put a hooker on standby - probably Hika Elliot who they were hoping is still in the UK having played for the Maori in Oxford 24 hours earlier.

- Herald on Sunday

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